This week we hear from former Gettysburg College golfer JC Egbert, his mother Carla and his performance coach at Parabolic Performance and Rehab, Jonathan Hudak. In the fall of 2009, JC suffered from what doctors believe was a swine flu-induced cardiac arrest episode, which left him with an anoxic brain injury (similar to a stroke). This incident occurred only two weeks into his first semester at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. JC obviously does not remember a lot from this incident, so Carla Egbert helps tell the tale of the steps taken to save JC's life. Carla's input gives us a unique perspective on the story and stresses the importance of staying positive even when doctors give an unfavorable diagnosis.
Carla and her family's positive thinking paid off because the hospital JC was transported to in York Pennsylvania not only had an ECMO machine, but it was a portable ECMO machine (very rare) that could travel with JC via helicopter to University of Pennsylvania Hospital. Fortunately, JC survived this ordeal, but was left with a drop foot and other physical limitations similar to those of stroke survivors. JC has had to re-learn how to walk and talk and it took him close to three years after his injury to get back on the golf course. Prior to suffering the anoxic brain injury JC was a 2-handicap golfer. JC has been playing golf since he was 5 years old and we talk about how hard and frustrating it has been for him to struggle to get back to that elite level of play.
Below is a video of how JC has adapted his golf swing because of his drop foot. JC, a natural lefty like his favorite golfer Phil Mickelson, now swings with only has right hand and holds a cane in his left hand for balance.
JC is still rehabbing with an occupational therapist, his swing coach and with his performance coach Jon Hudak. He is also taking on-line classes at Southern New Hampshire University and actually finds school easier now than he did before his injury.
Jonathan Hudak, CSCS, FMS, also joined us in this interview and talked about how far JC is come from when he first started training at Parabolic and what they have been working on together most recently. Jon and JC work on pulling heavy kettle bells, pushing the sled, walking without a cane and getting up and down from the ground, just to name a few. He also taught us about the sport specific attributes elite golfers need in terms of strength, balance, coordination and timing. Jonathan completed a Masters’ in Exercise Science from Ithaca in 2007 before interning and working under multi-directional speed specialist Lee Taft. He spent 2008-2009 training independently before acting as assistant strength and conditioning coach at RPI in Troy, NY. In 2012 he moved to Fairfield County, CT and managed the fitness division in the Stamford office of Moore, PT & Fitness before coming on to Parabolic in August of 2015.