Colorado Rockies give back and get something in return in hospital visit
By Kevin Henry
Three members of the Colorado Rockies were part of a surprise for a special patient on Friday afternoon at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. However, as the visit went along, it was clear that they were not only giving but also getting something in return.
Nearing the end of his six-month stay at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, Troy, a patient, used his new motorized wheelchair to enter a conference room for what he thought was going to be a media interview about his stay and his upcoming return to his native Wyoming. Once he entered the room, he was surprised by the presence of Colorado Rockies outfielder David Dahl, pitcher Kyle Freeland, shortstop Trevor Story … and Dinger.
Troy took to the Rockies trio like they were old friends, talking about his love for the Minnesota Twins (his still favorite team, he admitted) and telling in detail about how he ended up in that wheelchair. One simple slip on a step in June resulted in him hitting his back on the stairs and eventually losing the use of his legs.
Life can change in an instant and all of us in that room on Friday were reminded of that as Troy talked about the night when he started losing the feeling in his legs and the ambulance trip from Wyoming to the Aurora hospital.
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But here’s the thing. Troy didn’t just talk about the negatives. He told all of us, including three professional baseball players, about how he stayed positive through it all. He talked of how he enjoyed boosting the spirits of the other patients by dressing up, complete with lights, for the Christmas season.
Knute Rockne had never put together a better speech than Troy did on Friday.
Troy talked for about 20 minutes … and would have spent the entire rest of the afternoon talking if he could have. But there were other patients for the Rockies to visit and Troy had to continue getting ready to return home.
You know how sometimes 20 minutes can go by in a flash … and other times when 20 minutes can seem like an eternity? Troy’s time with the Rockies was the former and not the latter. He spent his time telling his story and explaining that, even after suffering paralysis, you can have a positive outlook.
“That’s pretty special for us,” Story told me and other media members after meeting with Troy. “His attitude … man … that was so admirable the way he looks at life. His attitude towards life, wow. We’re learning from each other here. That’s what I will take from today.”
After visiting the other patients and wrapping up his time at the hospital, Story had a simple message.
“Coming to see these guys brightened our day just as much as it did theirs.”
Learning from each other. Listening to someone when they tell their story. Focusing on the good rather than the bad. Choosing to rise above life’s challenges rather than let them control you. These were some of the unexpected lessons that happened on Friday afternoon. They are also good lessons for all of us to remember every day.