The Road to Recovery

My Y Story: Bryant Lewis

Bryant Lewis

Anil Porbunderwala (Left) Bryant Lewis (Right)

The Road to Recovery: A Story of Resilience, Impact and Friendship

Before 2021 Bryant Lewis was enjoying his life, having retired from many years working at Anheuser Busch he was a member of the Merrimack Y even before it was a YMCA, his membership going back to 1991.  His company generously reimbursed his membership so he headed over with guys from work every afternoon, seven day days a week, participating in a diverse workout including weight lifting, strength training and cardio.  Bryant enjoyed riding his motorcycle often, an activity that he had done for 50 years.  But then the unimaginable happened, Bryant was involved in a very serious accident while riding his motorcycle in June of 2021.

The accident left Bryant with both legs broken, his left arm and back broken, his ribcage seriously damaged and a rotator cuff completely annihilated.  He was extremely lucky to have survived.  His medical team shared that the only reason he survived was because he was in such good physical shape.  They said that his upper body strength served as protection during the accident.

Bryant’s severe injuries kept him at Elliot hospital for four months, while he began rehabilitation and his wife visiting daily.  When he was able to be released from the hospital, Bryant was transferred to Fairview for the next three months where he continued to rehabilitate and heal.  Since the accident Bryant has had a total of ten surgeries and has many metal components in his body.  “It’s an adventure going to the airport” Lewis joked.

When Bryant was released from Fairview he remained homebound due to his surgeries and recovery, and had daily PT and OT appointments. He shared that this was a very lonely and isolating time for him, especially since he had visited the Y on a daily basis prior to his accident.  Other members of the Y who he had become friends with, visited him at home consistently, one of them being fellow member Anil, whom he had met through their kids shared activities.  Anil encouraged Bryant to return the Y as soon as his doctor gave him the okay, sharing that it would be beneficial for him physically, mentally and socially.  That encouragement gave Bryant hope and something to look forward to and he began asking his doctor for permission.  Finally, sixteen months after his accident, Bryant’s medical provider gave him the okay to return to the Y.  At first he continued his PT exercises and eventually began to add a few strength training work outs here and there.  Now, Bryant is back to regular exercises at the Y, almost on a daily basis, but often has to remind himself to restrain, he shared he would like to add more leg exercises in his routine soon.  He still has to visit his provider every three months but is well on the mend, and has given up on ever riding a motorcycle again.

Bryant shared his gratitude to the Y and his workout routine, for saving his life in the first place, but also for getting it back a second time. “The Y gives me a reason.  It’s just a great organization, the staff is terrific.  You can’t beat it.”

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