Clayton State Student-Athlete Continues Recovery from Accident
It has been nearly 14 months since Zac Bradley’s life took a drastic turn. The Clayton State men’s basketball player has had a busy summer since May 9 attending a day program at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta to rehabilitate his body that sustained serious injuries in May 2011.
“I came back to therapy. I had a few more goals I wasn’t really satisfied with,”said the Riverdale native in a recent interview from the Shepherd Center during a lunch break. “I wasn’t satisfied with my physical being. I felt like I should be doing more. I came back to the Shepherd Center to do more physical therapy.”
Bradley’s life dramatically changed on May 26, 2011. While leaving the Clayton State campus during a terrible storm, a tree fell on his car entrapping him inside. Bradley was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries on his brain, neck and spinal cord. He spent last summer in rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center before returning home last October.
“I’ve come a long way. Yah, a very, very long way,” said Bradley. “When I was in the hospital I could barely lift my arm or lift my phone, stuff like that. Now I’m able to do whatever I want to do when I want to do it.”
Bradley has spent an average of five hours a day in occupational and physical therapy and will complete his day program on July 25. “It varies from occupational therapy where you focus on being more independent in life,” explained Bradley. “It’s about doing simple things like cooking, being able to clean. Feed yourself, dress yourself and all those things. Physical therapy is usually the hardest part of the day. It’s mostly strengthening and building up your muscles you can use.”
Since the accident, Bradley had been confined to a motorized chair. However, as the weeks and months have passed, he has steadily gotten stronger. One of Bradley’s summer objectives is becoming stronger to operate a manual wheelchair.
“I am now in a manual chair,” announced Bradley. “That was one of my major goals coming into therapy this summer. Also, I work on standing. I’m put in a standing frame to get blood circulation. It’s just good for your overall body health.”
In January of this year, Bradley returned to Clayton State as a full-time student. Despite his physical challenges, Bradley finished the Spring Semester with a 4.0 grade point average (GPA). The Health & Fitness Management major boosted his overall GPA to over 3.7.
Bradley continues to bare expenses that insurance does not cover. Individuals interested in contributing to the Help Hope Live Foundation in honor of Zac Bradley, can go on-line at http://www.helphopelive.org/.
Bradley is scheduled to resume his education at Clayton State with plans to take a full load when fall Semester classes begin at Clayton State in mid-August. Indeed, he has come a long way!