An Exercise Research Lab filled with Hope and Faith

The founder of the CONTINUUM Lab is Jereme Wilroy, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Heersink School of Medicine. In 2005, at the age of 16, he was involved in a tragic incident involving a tree that fell on top of him. The tree pinned him to the ground with his head between his legs crushing his spine and breaking ribs. He was unable to breath and as his father attempted to pull him out without any success, Jereme came to the realization that his life was over.

As he laid there waiting for death to come, he felt at peace because he believed he would soon be in heaven with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He then began to think of his brother and dad there with him and the sadness they would feel was unimaginable. Jereme then clearly heard the words, “You will not die but live and prosper with a message of hope and faith.” He no longer felt the crushing weight of the tree or the pain of suffocation. His father sitting next to the tree, exhausted from pulling and trying to think of another option to remove the tree, heard a voice encourage him to try pulling one more time. He got up and pulled and immediately Jereme’s body slipped out from under the tree.

Although it was a miracle Jereme was pulled out from under the tree, he laid there with a shattered spine, paralyzed from the chest down, broken ribs, and a lung filling with blood. Cellphone towers were down in the area due to a hurricane the week prior. It took a complex series of phone calls to reach emergency services in the area for Jereme to be flown by helicopter to the hospital. The doctor reported never seeing a spine so broken on someone who had lived. The emergency room doctors and nurses were surprised a lung could hold so much blood without bursting. The medical team believed if Jereme’s body was not in such great condition from exercise and sport, he would not have survived.

The following months and years were filled with an abundance of support from loving communities of friends and family, rehabilitation professionals, and sports teams, which has led to a full life of marriage, four kids, and a career aligned with purpose. Jereme has competed at the elite level in collegiate wheelchair basketball and recreationally in wheelchair racing. He received his doctorate in health education and promotion in order to create programs to serve others experiencing disability.

The purpose of the CONTINUUM Lab is to inspire others to live and prosper. The mission of the lab is to serve Alabamians who experience disability or a chronic health condition by curating content enabling them to become best fit to manage their life. The goal is for all individuals facing physical trauma and mobility limitations to live their life to its fullest potential.

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