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Bill Whitten

A Life-Changing Experience

Post-Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation
Admission: March 1999
Discharge: April 1999

Shirley Whitten remembers 1999 very well - it was the year her two sons were severely injured in the same car accident, transported via LifeFlight to two different Des Moines hospitals and later transferred to On With Life at the same time.

"I had never heard of On With Life, but I'm so glad it was here when we needed it," said Shirley. "I spent every day here while my boys were at On With Life. I wanted to be sure they got great care - and they did."

Her son Bill was thrown 100 feet from the car. While his only external injury was a scrape on his shin, he suffered a traumatic brain injury and quit breathing several times, requiring the ambulance crew to re-inflate his lungs. Despite the accident ending his career as a truck driver, Bill says now he sees there was a purpose.

"I don't call it a traumatic accident. I call it an experience," he said. "I've taken time to see what I want in my life and how I want to get there."

Bill retired from the Air Force after 20 years of service in 1994 and was pursuing an MBA at the time of the accident. Now, 17 years later, he has earned a second bachelor's degree and is pursuing a Masters in Business Leadership degree. Bill and his brother, Ken, enjoy weekly golf outings together.

"I want to help others get their life back, like On With Life did for me," said Bill. "This organization has changed a lot over the past 17 years - for the better - and so have I."