A Quickie Life Story: Jessica Patterson
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to meet Jessica "Jess" Patterson while working in Albany, New York. I learned very quickly that Jess is an incredible young woman who wears many hats every day and has even worn a crown. Jess was born, raised, and still lives in Central New York. She is married to "the most supportive, loving, and funniest man" she has ever met. Jess and her husband have three dogs: Tek, Frank, and Amelia. Besides spending time with her husband, Jess loves hanging out with her parents and three sisters.
In 2003, Jess was injured in a motor vehicle accident where she tore two holes in her aorta resulting in a spinal cord injury (SCI). Jess has an incomplete SCI at T-12 and uses a Quickie® 7R with JAY® X2 cushion.
Jess graduated from State University of New York Oswego with the intention of becoming a medical social worker. However, in 2013 Jess decided to go back to school to become a Certified Child Life Specialist through the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse. Interestingly enough, life had different plans for Jess when Monroe Wheelchair offered her a position working as a marketing consultant. Having not given up on her dream of working with children in the Child Life field, Jess has dedicated every Wednesday evening for the past three years to volunteering at Golisano Children's Hospital (GCH). As a volunteer at GCH she facilitates fun and educational programs for children and their families. In addition, she serves as a peer mentor when needed.
During my most recent visit to New York I asked Jess if she would be open to sharing her story with our readers. The very modest Jess agreed to share her "Quickie Life Story."
Favorite Color: Coral
Favorite Movie: Edward Scissorhands
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love four-wheeling, fishing, grilling, playing with my dogs and sitting by an open fire making s'mores with my loved ones. Also, being the girly-girl that I am, I enjoy shopping and getting my nails done as well.
Who would most like to see in concert?
Maroon 5! I am hoping to see them when they come to Albany, NY next September.
What accomplishment are you the most proud of?
I am proud of many things in my life, but the biggest would have to be peer mentoring at the local children's hospital. About 3 years ago I mentored a young woman who was full of questions ranging from "how did you get here?" "why do you volunteer?" to "have you ever had a boyfriend?" When I told her I was married, her eyes grew so big. Among other fears, she disclosed to me that she feared no boy would ever like her because she was in a wheelchair. I gave her the confidence that a man would love her for who she is and would look past the chair to see the sweet, beautiful girl.
If you could have dinner with a celebrity, who would it be and where would you go?
Ellen DeGeneres. I would take her to my favorite little Thai place here in Central New York!
What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be to Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. This is where my mother was born and raised. To be able to go there and meet my family to see how my mother and her 17 siblings and parents lived, would be amazing. I think sometimes we take for granted all we have, so to see how they were self-sufficient and lived off the land would be eye-opening and beautiful.
How did you meet your best friend?
My husband, Jason, is my rock, personal comedian, and best friend. We met when I was in college working part time at a Price Chopper grocery store.
Who inspires you?
The person who inspires me and who I have looked up to my entire life is my sister TSgt Nadine Wiese. Nadine has been in the United States Air Force since 2002. She has sacrificed time with her husband, children and family to help protect our freedoms. Nadine has bravely been through Operation Iraqi Freedom (Operation New Dawn) and Operation Enduring Freedom. She is the bravest person I know and for that she inspires me to live life with confidence and pride in who I am.
What does "living life without limits" mean to you?
To me, "living a life without limits" means that you don't let your differences stop you from doing what you want to do and being who you want to be. Whether you live your life using a wheelchair for mobility or not, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.
As a child I always dreamed of walking the Miss America stage and being a model. When I was hurt in 2003 I thought that my dreams were crushed. Little did I know that being a wheelchair user would help me to accomplish those goals. I was crowned Ms. Wheelchair New York 2013-14 and was able to travel to California to compete in the Ms. Wheelchair America 2015 competition. I am proud to say that I lived out my dream and got to roll across that stage with confidence and pride. Most recently I was asked to model for the new Quickie 7R by Sunrise Medical. I again fulfilled a childhood dream of mine because of the fact that I am a proud wheelchair user.
Without my wheelchair, I wouldn't be who I am today and for that I am thankful that I can live my life without limits!
Thank you for reading our blog! We love hearing from you, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We encourage you to leave a comment or send us an email at NAMarketing2@sunmed.com.
Always remember at the end of the day, your client is your number one priority!
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Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are intended to be utilized as a general resource for clinicians and suppliers to then use clinical reasoning skills to determine optimal seating and mobility solutions for individual clients. Steve and Angie are unable to answer questions from members of the general public including caregivers and end users. Members of the general public should direct specific questions to their own clinicians, medical, suppliers, or other health care professionals.
Posted by: Date: 11/12/2015 2:19:00 PM
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