Jeff's Success Story

Jeff Whitt was going 70 miles per hour when he struck the ground after jumping out of a plane. The professional skydiving instructor with over 20 years of experience says a maneuver went wrong.

Jeff working on pelvic stability exercises with his physical therapist, Lauren Mercurio.

He ended up shattering his pelvis. In addition to multiple broken bones, he had considerable nerve damage that required several surgeries and a six-week stay in the hospital.

Jeff said when he got home, he was weak and needed a lot of help. "I was in constant pain from my pelvis and femur and was barely walking with a walker," he said. "I had significant nerve pain in my left foot with a foot drop and urinary incontinence, and I would pee myself every time I walked, sat down, slept and heard the faucet running."

As a father of a two-year-old, Jeff said it was difficult for his whole family. "The worst was that I couldn't pick up my daughter and give her a hug."

So, Jeff turned to NovaCare Rehabilitation and our CoreVia Pelvic Health program with Physical Therapist Lauren Mercurio. "I felt like there was a new milestone or goal that I met every week, and that just motivated me to set the next goal for me to complete," Jeff said. "We did a ton of pelvic floor exercises, so I eventually went from wearing a diaper to a small pad, then to having no urinary incontinence at all!"

However, Jeff says the best milestone involved his daughter. "We did exercises that involved moving, lifting, carrying and walking with a box, gradually adding weight until I got to about the same weight as my daughter," he said. "So that was pretty amazing when I was able to pick up my daughter to give her a hug and walk around holding her."

Now, Jeff is settling back into his life. "As of today, I feel amazing," Jeff said. "Lauren has done a wonderful job at getting me there. Looking back to when I first started, I have made tremendous progress, and I would not be where I am today without her."

Jeff looks forward to returning to skydiving as a master parachute rigger and conducting ground training for instructors. He says he might also have one or two more jumps in him.

Congratulations on your incredible recovery, Jeff. Thank you for sharing your remarkable story and choosing us for pelvic health and physical therapy care.


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