“It’s gonna be ok, Mommy. It’s gonna be ok.” Shondell Hymas had discovered that her 27-year old husband Chad had been in a terrible accident when a 1-ton bale of hay fell onto his tractor. Now she was calling 911, as her 3-year old son said this to her. The ambulance came and waited for an airlift helicopter to arrive, and Chad told his wife with a smile, “It’s gonna be ok.”
That was in 2001, and although Chad’s injuries left him a quadriplegic, it has indeed been ok. Chad is now a world-renowned influencer and speaker, receiving the Council of Peers Award for Excellence and being inducted into the National Speaker Hall of Fame, turning this physical challenge into a gift. He motivates and inspires others of all ages and experiences through his story, meeting a difficult challenge in a way that produces hope, joy, and purpose. He transforms his own story into a universal message of overcoming “emotional paralysis” and tapping into personal power and inner strength.
Chad’s story came to SYNERGY HomeCare of Norwood when he came to the Boston area for speaking engagements last year. He depends on professional caregivers when he travels alone, so we received a call from his wife about his upcoming visits. Reem Daoud, our care manager, said, “Chad Hymas! I’ve heard of him!” We learned that the Hymas family always reaches out to the local SYNERGY office when he travels; experience has proven that SYNERGY consistently provides top-level care and works hard to meet their hectic scheduling needs. You might have received the SYNERGY HomeCare magazine for Winter 2018, with Chad Hymas on the cover (see photo).
SYNERGY HomeCare of Norwood’s owner Peter Sakellariou had the opportunity to meet Chad on one of these visits to Massachusetts (see photo). “It was a real privilege to meet such an accomplished and well-known speaker,” said Peter. “As a home care provider, I was struck by his determination to get things done so independently and to not let his disabilities define him. It’s hard to keep optimism when one’s whole life routine is disrupted by such an injury, and Chad’s ability to persevere and approach his challenges as problems to solve--and then finding those solutions--is quite a model for all of us.” Our office was thrilled to be part of the solution to enable Chad to speak in the area. Our caregivers met him at his hotel and helped facilitate his daily routine, as well as getting him ready for his speaking engagements.
As I reflect on Chad’s model of overcoming adversity, I think of so many of the clients and their families with whom we have worked. While our other clients might not have Chad’s fame and recognition, they are all confronting some level of “disability”. For one, it might be the loss of freedom when giving up a driver’s license. For another, it might be limited mobility through a stroke or other illness. We are humbled to witness the ways people face their challenges, find solutions to their obstacles, and continue to focus on the beauty and purpose in their lives. And as we work with and get to know their families, we see how their loved ones’ lives are also impacted, how they adjust to provide care and help find those solutions. It is truly a “synergy” of working together, demonstrating the practical aspects of love and commitment.
While Shondell and other Hymas family members provide a lot of Chad’s care when he’s at home in Utah, SYNERGY HomeCare is on hand to help when needed. This is the “synergy” that we provide, working with the client and the family to ensure that everyone is able to do their part without becoming overwhelmed. And this is what we do for all of our other clients. When family caregivers have other commitments or need respite, our professional aides step in. We learn the lessons of perseverance and inner strength every day, as our clients embrace life in the midst of their individual challenges.
All of us feel like giving up sometimes, or we feel that we don’t see a way out of our difficulties. We see the clouds and not the silver lining. Chad Hymas wants to shake us all out of that despondency and show us that there is much to look forward to and be thankful for. There is much purpose and beauty to find in life. We look forward to his next visit to the Boston area and a chance to work with him again!