By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Paralympic swimmer who credits Magee Rehabilitation Hospital with helping her to plant the foundation for her success at the Rio games this past summer visited with patients and staff on Tuesday.
Twenty-four-year old Michelle Konkoly who grew up in Eagleville, Chester County, toured the fifth-floor gym at Magee carrying her gold, silver and bronze medals.
And, she offered words of support to patients and staff — some of whom were there five years ago teaching her how to walk again.
It was 2011, when the Georgetown freshman plunged five stories to the ground after falling out of a dorm window.
She suffered damage to her spinal chord, shattered her L2 vertebrae, and had several broken bones.
But Konkoly says Magee gave her the will to come back.
“I remember spending days on those hand cycles just wishing that I was in the pool with my teammates at Georgetown and not to be able to come back knowing that. I really accomplished all my dreams that came into being ideas while I was here. It’s very special.”
Not only did Konkoly regain her ability to walk, she also was able to continue swimming and compete in the paraolympics.
Konkoly, who graduated from Georgetown and begins medical school next year at Jefferson, says the Rio experience was not only one for the record books but a personal thrill of a lifetime.