With the ceremonial lighting of the “torch,” the 2018 Rehab Games are officially under way at the NHRMC Rehab Hospital. Six rehab patients handled the torch relay, which culminated with patient Zenas Ward hoisting the torch and lighting the lamp that will remain lit throughout the Games.
Master of ceremonies Bo Dean, vice chair of the Board of Directors for Access Wilmington and Human Resources Analyst for New Hanover County, enthused the crowd of NHRMC staff, patients and family members as the master of ceremonies. And NHRMC CEO John Gizdic offered words of praise for the rehab staff and our patients, and then declared: “Let the Games Begin!”
Over the next two weeks, rehab patients will participate in one event each day, including curling, ice hockey and luge. All events will be adapted for the patient/athletes, who will receive a stamp in their passbook for each completed event.
Prior to the Games, the rehab team, patients and families embarked on a virtual fitness journey to PyeongChang, site of the 2018 Winter Olympics. The team needed to cover 7,204 miles to reach their goal. When physical therapist Christina Terry revealed the total at the Opening Ceremony, it was 10,255 miles of exercise.
During the ceremony, John and Sandy Watkins spoke about the great care John received during his stay at NHRMC. She thanked the staff for their care, quality, concern and love, which she called “absolutely phenomenal.”
Sandy addressed the families and patients, encouraging them to be patient and resilient during therapy.
“It’s always better to keep going,” she said. “A quarter inch of improvement is worth a mile.”
Marty Aden, Director of Spiritual Care, delivered a blessing for the Games, calling them a testament to the human spirit, and wishing for restored health, restored function and restored life for the athletes.