Har­vey Ross

Oc­cu­pa­tion: In­de­pen­dent liv­ing co­or­di­na­tor, In­de­pen­dence First Age: 45

Milwaukee Health - - PERSPECTIVE -

At age 19, Har­vey Ross was shot in the neck by his girl­friend’s fa­ther dur­ing a do­mes­tic dis­pute, par­a­lyz­ing him from the neck down. He re­calls, “I was so de­pressed, I begged to be un­hooked from the ma­chine so I could die.” Af­ter six months in re­hab and hav­ing re­gained par­tial use of his hands, Ross sat at home, smok­ing pot, leav­ing only for doc­tors’ ap­point­ments.

Then one day Ross’ mother con­fronted him: “Is this all you’re go­ing to do with your life?”

Af­ter that, Ross bought a weight cuff to hold free weights and be­gan work­ing out at home. He then joined a club and de­signed his own ex­er­cises us­ing their ma­chines. To­day, he works out six days a week for three hours. He has played com­pet­i­tive wheel­chair rugby and now plays recre­ation­ally.

“The world doesn’t owe us any­thing,” says Ross. “It’s up to you how you live your life.”

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