Remember this name: Jerald Scott. You’ll know him one day as a motivational speaker, coach and mentor. You’ll appreciate his big heart.
This 31-year-old recently lost his right leg in a traumatic motorcycle accident, but he treats it as nothing more than an inconvenience, an interruption to his basketball game. And once he gets his prosthesis, he’ll be back on the court.
The accident threw Jerald so far from his motorcycle, policemen had a hard time finding him. During the search, he lost most of his blood. Doctors say they had never seen a leg so mangled. In addition to his leg being amputated, a broken arm required metal rods, and his right wrist suffered an inoperable fracture. Yet, when he awoke in Ben Taub Hospital, he immediately started joking with his caregivers.
Jerald knew nothing about Ben Taub Hospital, but that soon changed. “Now I love it because I’m alive and smiling.” His caregivers went above and beyond. “One nurse brought me aromatherapy. They played music for me. They talked with me about more than my injury. They joked with me. They treated me like I was part of their family, and that says a lot. God sent me to the right hospital.”
Mark Barr, a Ben Taub Hospital trauma-surgical Intensive Care Unit nurse, amputee and Paralympics competitor, became a special friend. He introduced Jerald to other patients and to CATAPULT, a non-profit that helps people turn their disabilities into capabilities.
Jerald was in the hospital for three weeks, and doctors were amazed how quickly he healed. He readily caught on to physical therapy because of his natural athleticism and positive attitude. “I got that from God,” he says. “I could have been discouraged. I remember what my pastor said, ‘What happens to you is not always for you.’ I can use my story to inspire others.”
Before the accident, Jerald worked with kids as a coach and mentor. “I had been praying for a way to reach more people. Now I will. I look forward to getting my prosthesis so kids will see me play basketball with it.”
Jerald has started a program called TRU: talented, resilient and unstoppable. Though they are characteristics he wants to instill in young people, they also are words that describe him to a T.