On Resilience: How Jessica Harthcock Turned A Tragic Sports Accident Into A Healthcare Revolution – Forbes

Photo courtesy of Jessica Harthcock and edited Kendrick Daye

Jessica Harthcock was 17 years old when she suffered a devastating sports-related injury, which ultimately paralyzed her from the chest down. Almost instantly, she was thrust into the medical system, where she saw first hand the gaps in care quality care for patients with neurological conditions.

She set out to solve the problems she experienced via Utilize Health, which is a specialty care coordination solution that guides patients through the healthcare system, ensuring they reach maximal outcomes and health plans see a cost savings in their care. Today, she’s the CEO of a two million dollar company that she built from the ground up. In the interview below, she describes her journey as a patient, CEO and advocate.

We hope she inspires you, as she did us.  

Allie Hoffman and Ally Bogard: What have you triumphed over?

Jessica Harthcock: The first would be triumphing over paralysis. When I was 17, I was paralyzed doing gymnastics. Unfortunately, the injury I suffered was grim. Doctors said that I wouldn’t walk and I wouldn’t recover. After years of rehabilitation, I eventually learned to walk again. It took about six years before I learned to confidently walk unassisted.

Most patients, when they suffer an injury, they’ll be in an acute care setting. Then, they’ll move into a different setting, whether it’s a skilled nursing facility or in-patient rehab facility. Then, patients will, often, once they’re out of inpatient rehab, move into out-patient rehab. Most patients will do two to three hours of rehab a week, sometimes four or maybe even five hours a week, of physical therapy.

I did six hours a day, often six or seven days a week, for the first three years that I got hurt.


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