Miracle Worker

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Jessica Harthcock, CEO of Utilize Health, is paralyzed for life. Six years after her injury, she walked unassisted down the aisle at her own wedding. Here’s how she worked herself a miracle…

We interview transformative Breakers – some transform themselves, some the world around them. No transformation, however, compares to Jessica. She quite literally worked herself a miracle.

During diving practice in high school, Jessica fell wrong. She suffered a complete spinal cord injury. The damage was so bad that all commonly accepted medical knowledge confirmed the worst: Jessica would never walk again.

If you met Jessica today, she would walk up to you and shake your hand. She cannot feel her legs, but she can walk with them unassisted. No walker, no crutches. Nothing.

The sheer force of will Jessica conveyed in order to walk again is mind-boggling. It should be no surprise, then, that Jessica also started a successful company, Utilize Health, which helps tailor treatment for patients with injuries similar to hers. Her entrepreneurship is what makes Jessica a Breaker, but the story of her recovery is so incredible that we couldn’t help indulging…

Are you comfortable recounting exactly what happened?

Yeah, sure! I was a springboard diver in high school. I had just finished my junior year, so this was a couple days after school let out. I was competitive. To be good at springboard diving, you really need to practice gymnastics. We call it “dry land diving.” So, I was doing that because I was getting ready to go to a dive camp up at Indiana University, and at the time they were ranked in the top five of the country…

Read the full article in Breakout’s stories section, where you can find my series of interviews with fascinating young entrepreneurs.

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