BRIGHTON, Colo. – A man who just helped pass a bill to help hundreds of disabled first responders found himself in need of some help.
Bill Holder is a retired Brighton police officer. He was injured on the job several years ago. He said he had three high-speed car accidents in a 5-year period. All of the crashes occurred while he was on duty and none were his fault.
Holder didn’t realize how severely injured he was.
“I took ibuprofen and thought everything was OK. I didn’t realize what was happening internally. The trauma that I had initially from the accident, the trauma that is a natural part of the surgeries added up to where I’ve got three spots on my spinal cord that are essentially dead. It just doesn’t allow communication with my brain and muscles, creates havoc with the nerves," he said.
Then, about one month ago, his health suddenly took a turn for the worse.
“It just came out of nowhere. I woke up one night and couldn’t walk, my legs would not support me and I was in tremendous pain," Holder said.
Now, getting around, walking, even tying his shoes is incredibly painful.
His wife, Jana said, “It won't ever get better and we can never fix it, but we can maintain where he is if we can keep him active.”
His doctor recommended a recumbent bike, one that reclines to take the pressure off his back and legs.
“Ever since that came up, I've been excited. We went out and test rode some, I haven't had that much enjoyment being outside in a long time," Holder said.
“He got on this bike and took off. I was on one, I couldn't keep up with him. The smile he had when he came back, I thought, 'Wow, the freedom he hasn't had for years'," Jana said.
But on a tight budget, they cannot afford the $6,000 bike. That’s where the non-profit organization, MC-1 Foundation offered to help them raise the money.
“They created an organization that is there. They treat you like family and don't let you go and they follow up on you," Jana said.
Holder said he is overwhelmed by the community’s support.
"I am just so thankful there is an opportunity to recover part of my life that meant so much to me," Holder said.
And while they need a little help now, the couple is already focused on helping others down the road.
“He may be knocked down for a while, but hopefully, we get him to a place where we can still fight to help others. That's our purpose, that's our place," Jana said.
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