After Life-Threatening Car Accident, Woman Goes from Tragedy to Triumph with YMCA’s Help / by Zina Daniel

 Leigh Young

Leigh Young

Perseverance, a positive attitude, and a positive atmosphere led to noticeable progress. After months of work, Leigh graduated to using other machines at the YMCA. Eventually, she began moving with the assistance of a walker — and then with just a cane.

Leigh Young’s life changed dramatically on June 13, 2017.

It started as a normal enough Tuesday, but the day quickly took a turn for the worse: She got into a serious car accident. She broke both of her femurs as well as her knees and ankles. Her upper body wasn’t spared. She painfully dislocated her left wrist.

It’s an understatement to say that Leigh is lucky to be alive.

After the accident, she had to undergo six different surgeries — three on her left leg, one on her right leg, one on her ankle, and one on her wrist. She then spent two weeks in the hospital, followed by a two-month stint at an in-patient rehab facility. There, she slowly learned to regain movement in her lower body.

Life After the Accident

After doctors released her from the rehab facility, Leigh brought her at-home rehab management to the Witham Family YMCA, which provides a slew of health, wellness, and rehabilitation classes.

She tackled her recovery journey head-on with the help of the Witham YMCA in November 2017. She came to the facility twice a day in her wheelchair. At the beginning of her rehab, Leigh could barely extend her knees, and her husband Robert was worried about how that would impact her overall health.

But she continued to exercise regularly, using a Nustep machine to increase her mobility. This machine helps those who are rehabilitating after joint surgery by simulating the motion of walking.

Perseverance, a positive attitude, and a positive atmosphere led to noticeable progress. After months of work, Leigh graduated to using other machines at the YMCA. Eventually, she began moving with the assistance of a walker — and then with just a cane.

Leigh continues with her two-a-day workouts at the YMCA’s wellness center and has made so much improvement that she is sometimes even found walking without a cane.

Perseverance in Recovery

Leigh has become an inspiration to the staff and members at the Y, who have witnessed the hard work she put into regaining her mobility.

Leigh says that her workouts have helped immensely with rehabilitation after the car accident. But most importantly, the encouragement of members and staff at the facility have made the biggest difference in her recovery.

Leigh and Robert said that this process taught them a lot about how uplifting it is to work with people who cheered on their successes every step of the way. They said rehabilitating at the Y also showed that the cumulative effect of minor progress leads to bigger successes. “If you can’t see the little steps — the little bit of progress each day — then you can’t see the big steps.”

To make an online contribution that will help people like Leigh, visit indymca.org/annual-campaign-support