It was impossible to count all of the smiles in the 4th floor gym at Magee on Wednesday afternoon. That’s because former patient Jackie Lithgow was paying a visit to his care team, showing off the tremendous progress he’s made since heading home to Carlisle, PA just before Thanksgiving. His incredible story made the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer that day.
In February 2014, Jackie sustained a brain injury while trying to break up a fight at a party near Bloomsburg University, where he was a freshman. He would spend 275 days in the hospital, many of them at Magee, relearning how to walk and speak. His mom Lisa and dad Jim slept by his side every night. Since November, he’s worked to get stronger each day at a rehab program close to home. His progress has thrilled Team Magee.
After his check-up in Magee’s outpatient clinic, Gaspar Center, Jackie and his parents could not get to the 4th floor fast enough. There were lots of hugs and a few tears, but mostly smiles, as you can see in the slideshow below. Jackie is walking and speaking with clarity. During his visit, he scrolled through his phone, playfully “casting” the Hollywood stars who would play his care team in the movie of his life. He has a girlfriend now, and hopes to reenter college for the Spring semester. When asked when he would be coming back, Jackie said, “When I can drive!”
Congratulations, Jackie, on your great progress and all that is to come!