By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A medical student who suffered a devastating injury is facing a lifetime of medical bills that could top $2 million. Now he’s back in school. He is not letting a disability get in the way of his dream of becoming a doctor and he’s getting some help on the way.
Greg Snyder is checking on patients at Jefferson University Hospital. He’s finishing his fourth year of medical school, but it’s been a difficult journey. Greg’s medical career could have ended in June 2013, when he was paralyzed in a hiking accident. We talked to him last fall.
“I remember kind of approaching some large rocks and tying my dog up around a tree, putting his leash around a tree, and that’s kind of where I lost consciousness,” Greg said. “I don’t remember what happened.”
After a year of therapy, Greg is back to his studies. Greg says using a wheelchair obviously comes with some limitations, but “I think that’s an advantage for me because it makes the patient feel I’m on their level. When I come up to them and they’re lying in the bed, we’re looking at each other eye to eye.”
Family and friends raised more than $100,000 for Greg’s medical expenses through an organization called HelpHOPELive, a Radnor non-profit that has helped more than 3,000 people with similar needs. Former executive director and CEO Lynne Coughlin Samson herself has a stepdaughter who was paralyzed in an accident.
“We bridge the gap between what insurance pays for and what they need to thrive, and we do that through grassroots fundraising,” Samson said last fall.
“People on the other side of the country, on the opposite coast, were sending me messages through HelpHOPELive saying, ‘Hey, we heard your story on CBS and we wanted to help out,'” Greg said. “HelpHOPELive is an absolutely incredible organization.”
Now Greg has a chance to heal others.
Greg will graduate in a couple of months and apply to residency programs. He also recently got engaged.
To find out more about HelpHOPELive, see their website at www.HelpHOPELive.org.