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Vanessa King

New York, NY
  • Vanessa King in the photo 1

They say you'll never forget dates that change you in some way: May 07, 2015. That was mine. A completely "normal" day. Even the accident - a rear-end collision at a red light; my car, slammed from behind by a yellow cab who "wasn't paying attention" while driving cruising speed - seemed normal. Little did I know how a day so normal in every way would impact me for months to come.

Whiplash, herniated discs, bulging discs, a subluxated rib, neuralgia of the leg and arm, an mTBI (severe concussion) - the "normal" me was gone. She disappeared the minute the cab collided with the back end of my vehicle. We take so much for granted; you only realize it once everything changes.

Having been a patient, herself, a friend told me to call HSS: "...and not go anywhere else. Do not." ... turns out, my friends give good advice. There's been Dr. Griffin, who's helped me control and manage my pain; Dr. Goldstein, my trusted neurologist, who's always got a smile, makes me laugh, and who's always got time for small talk - there's something to be said about a talented caregiver who also can put his patients at ease. There's Neil O'Brien, ICC's Massage Therapist, who, in the early weeks following the accident, kept me from full emotional breakdowns, with his calm words of encouragement. They're a part of the HSS team who got me back on track.

The Team Captain - the one responsible for really getting me "Back in the Game" - was an HSS Physical Therapist at the Integrative Care Center. Without her constant care, guidance, ability, understanding, patience, compassion, talent, friendship, honesty and her smile throughout the last five months, I'm not sure where I'd be right now: I owe her more than anything I can give. She's taught me about my body's abilities, thanks to her I now celebrate the good days and to use the bad days as new baselines - knowing for every low, there's a high; and for every high, there's something higher.

I'm not perfect, yet, but I've learned a lot about "me" these last few months. Along this journey to find the "normal" me, HSS has helped me find a better version of myself.