Thursday, May 26, 2011

Diamond Dawgs: the bad, then the good

Diamond Dawgs got blanked last night by Vanderbilt, 10-0. The Commodores are one of the nation's best teams and they have a staff full of aces, but it's still embarrassing. Today we face Auburn in the loser's bracket still needing three wins to become eligible for the NCAAs. Alex Wood will go against the Tiger's Varnadore who tossed a complete game shutout against the Dawgs a couple weeks ago.

In better news though, Jonathan Taylor has been released from the Shepherd's full time care center and is determined to walk again. 
"I’ve got to re-learn my body," said Taylor, who was paralyzed in a March 6 outfield collision with teammate Zach Cone during a game against Florida State. "I’ve got to get those body parts moving again. It feels like you’re a baby again, sort of. You have to re-learn your body parts and how to get them to move again. You’ve got these therapists teaching you techniques of how to get through situations."
Taylor’s recovery process has been slow, but he has made progress. The next phase of his life began on Tuesday when he graduated from a full-time Shepherd Center patient to an adjacent apartment so he can participate in the hospital’s day program.
"You don’t want to be dependent everybody else to help you out," Taylor said. "You don’t want to become a lazy person, having to always ask for help. My plan is not to do that. I want to be as independent as I can."
Taylor’s move to the Shepherd Center’s day program is a red-letter date in his recovery.
His apartment is in the Shepherd Center’s complex, so he has easy access to the facilities to continue his physical therapy. It’s also closer to a return to familiar surroundings. The Shepherd Center is one of the best facilities in the country. But it’s still a hospital.
"For me, it was one step closer to going home," said Taylor’s teammate Chance Veazey, who was paralyzed in a motor scooter crash about a year and a half before Taylor’s accident, and also went through the Shepherd Center’s program. "It’s good feeling to know he’s going to be able to get away from the hospital bed and the room and be able to eventually go live with his mom. It’s a lot easier on yourself mentally.
"You’re just there with your family and you don’t have to deal with all the medical stuff 24-7," Veazey continued. "It’s really the first step of starting to live on your own. There’s an independence factor. Nobody’s going to come into your room all hours of the night. It’s much, much easier on you."
It's been a difficult season. And although Taylor certainly isn't the lone bright spot, he's sure a shining example of hard work and dedication.

Also, here's a link to some pictures from Taylor's graduation ceremony at Shepherd yesterday.

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