Luke Seibert of Ardmore, Alabama, is a typical 20-year old. He enjoys hiking, soccer, board and card games, playing the guitar, entertaining his six younger siblings and playing airsoft – activities in which he learned to adapt to after an April 13, 2016, car wreck that resulted in Luke losing his vision.
Returning home from a church event, Luke was driving by himself on the interstate when a car ahead of him struck another car in the next lane. With no way to avoid the situation, Luke’s vehicle was forced into the wreck and then hit by a box truck. Luke was rushed to the hospital where he underwent a craniotomy, surgery to mend the breaks in his left arm and a more than 11-hour facial reconstruction to repair the multiple breaks to the bones in his face. While surgery was able to repair most of the damage to his body, the injuries to his eyes and detached retinas could not be repaired.
Following the advice of friends and others in the healthcare field, the family chose Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital to help Luke regain function and independence. During his two-and-a-half week stay at the inpatient rehabilitation hospital, he worked on regaining function with his left arm which had suffered breaks and nerve damage. He also worked with therapists on navigating different terrains in preparation for using a walking cane among other skills to help him better adapt to his newfound visual deficit.
Less than six months after the wreck, Luke is getting even more comfortable with returning to the things he loved before the wreck. He is learning Braille; discovering many resources and technologies that will help him identify objects and select clothing; and setting new goals for himself such as getting better with using a computer, earning his bachelor’s degree, becoming a preacher, and settling down with a wife and children one day.
“Dwelling in the past does not change anything and not trying is not an option. I’ve accepted how things are now and that, along with my faith, keeps me moving forward,” said Luke.