Patient Perspective: Tim Callahan, Tim Callahan Foundation
Tim Callahan grew up playing sports, all the way through high school where he played soccer, basketball and baseball. This trend continued all the way through college, where he played basketball and got involved in a flag football league in Jacksonville, Florida. Before he knew it, his flag football team was nationally ranked, and he spent over ten years playing the sport all over the nation, on TV, and with NFL stars - until one infamous day in July 2010.
While playing, an opposing player fell on top of Tim, causing him to break his neck in two different places; C3 and C4. Tim suffered a severe spinal cord injury and was instantly paralyzed from the neck down. The doctors said he would never walk again, but Tim did not lose faith. He spent two weeks in the UF Health ICU, where he was put on a halo, a ventilator and a feeding tube. He had two separate surgeries, and developed a staph infection, pneumonia and fevers that reached 104. But days after the first surgery he began to regain feeling in his toes. Every day a new sensation returned. He was able to leave UF Health and head over to Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital, where the real recovery process began.
Tim taught himself how to do everything all over again: feed himself, brush his teeth, walk, use the restroom and more. He described it as leaps and bounds, and thanks his incredible therapists for his accomplishments. Three weeks after being told he may never walk again, he took his first steps. After two years of therapy and building his body back, he did the unthinkable: he stepped back on the flag football field and played in a national tournament. Hear more from Tim during his session on Monday, October 25, at 10:00 a.m.
Edward A. Eckenhoff Memorial Award and Lecture: Sponsored by Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare, presented to Dennis O'Malley, Health Care Consultant and Former AMRPA Board Chairman
Denny O’Malley was the President of Craig Hospital from 1974-2008. Under his leadership, Craig was internationally recognized as a premier center for the rehabilitation and research of adults with spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. He also served as interim CEO of the Denver Zoo for 15 months in 2017-2018 until a permanent CEO was named. He was chair of the Board of the Colorado Hospital Association and the American Hospital Association’s Rehabilitation Governing Council. In 1999, Denny was Chairman of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association and has served on numerous other non-profit boards during his career, including the Colorado Health Foundation, and as Chair of the Denver Zoo.
Denny is now a health care strategy consultant and was the lead consultant in the complex merger of an academic medical center into a large regional community hospital system. He continues to serve as a consultant to the newly formed system. He was a consultant to the Executive Director and board of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, a charitable giving foundation which contributes over $25 million annually to spinal cord injury causes. He is the Executive Director of Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals regarding business operations and new business opportunities and has served as facilitator to the leadership of numerous organizations in their strategic planning efforts. He serves as strategic advisor to the University of Utah in the launch of a new free-standing rehabilitation hospital which will open in the Summer of 2020. He has served on the boards of a variety of community organizations in Colorado. He and wife Denise have 6 daughters and 12 grandchildren.