By Beth Germano

BOSTON (CBS) – A Roslindale man seriously injured in a freak accident following a March snowstorm says he’s “come to terms with it” and is now trying to stay positive.

Scott Berry’s lower body was left paralyzed when a tree limb fell on him while he was clearing heavy, wet snow outside his home on March 8 severing his spinal cord. “It was a very odd feeling. It actually felt like my legs were raised in the air,” Berry tells WBZ-TV.

He remembers little of his rush to the hospital, the surgery, and the first few days of agony. Through it all he uses the word “lucky.”

roslindale2 I’m Fortunate: Roslindale Man Stays Positive After Falling Tree Limb Leaves Him Paralyzed

Scott Berry (WBZ-TV)

“If it had gone two inches in a different direction and hit me in the head who knows what would have happened,” he said. “In some ways, I’m fortunate. It was a freak accident.”

He’s now working on building his strength both physically and mentally as he learns how to use different muscles, with a doctor’s prognosis he won’t walk again. “Learning to sit up you feel like a toddler learning to hold its head up because you don’t have that muscle control.”

Occupational therapist Arielle Ziering, who’s working with Berry at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, says he’s already seen progress. “When he first came here he could barely get out of bed. He was in pain after laying in bed for so long. There was a lot to build up,” said Ziering.

roslindale3 I’m Fortunate: Roslindale Man Stays Positive After Falling Tree Limb Leaves Him Paralyzed

Arielle Ziering and Scott Berry (WBZ-TV)

After nearly two months of care and therapy at Spaulding, Berry returns home next week facing what is now a “new normal.” “It’s easy today if you need something you ring a bell and someone comes running,” he said. “Once you leave here you’re on your own other than family and the support you have at home.”

For the married father of two children it’s not only hours of therapy, but instruction in adjusting his day to day living to gain independence. “I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered them all, there’s still significant work to be done, but I’m making a lot of progress,” said Berry.

Right now, he is focused on the future and preparing his home for his return which will have to be fitted with an elevator, ramps and widened doorways. He’s also in the process of buying a handicapped accessible car and eventually returning to his job in financial services which will allow him to work from home.

“I never expected to miss work as much as I do,” he said. “You never realize how much you miss something until you can’t do it.”

A fundraiser on his behalf, the Berry Blast, is being held on Saturday, May 19 at Holy Name Parish Hall in West Roxbury.


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