It was a week before finals when Luke, then a college freshman, was spending the day on a pontoon boat. He dove into the water without realizing the boat had drifted towards shallow shores. The Scarsdale native broke his neck on impact and wasn’t able to move from his shoulders down.
He underwent surgery and subsequently came to Burke. While there, Luke’s priority was to regain function and strength. He set a series of small goals, including being able to stand upright, which he couldn’t do. After a few months of therapy, he was able to do that and today, he can take steps on his own. With the help of Functional Electrical Stimulation technology, he can walk upwards of a mile.
Now the Vanderbilt University grad, who majored in neuroscience, is working towards his next goal: becoming a neurologist.