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"Being in my twenties at the time of the accident, protecting myself from disability was not on my mind."

An accident at work left Joshua without the use of his legs, and left his family with tremendous financial strain.

Ever since he was young, Joshua had a talent for mechanical work. After graduating from high school, Joshua soon found work at a local elevator repair company and he quickly mastered the trade and excelled in his job.

One day, after five and a half years on the job, a dumbwaiter fell on him, dropping more than 700 pounds onto his back. At first he was not in a lot of pain, but he soon lost feeling in his legs and was rush to the emergency room.

At the hospital, doctors confirmed Joshua's initial fears-he had suffered a total spinal injury and would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

While he has been aided by workers' compensation, his disability has had significant financial stress on his family. After the accident, his mother temporarily left work to take care of him, further lowering the family's income during a time in which medical expenses were rapidly piling up. It took three years until-through tremendous determination, rehabilitation, and a positive spirit-Joshua was finally able to get around on his own.

Looking back on the accident, Joshua says, "You never know from one day to the next what will happen." He continues, "Being in my twenties at the time of the accident, protecting myself from disability was not on my mind. Protecting yourself from a disability should be on everyone's mind, regardless of age."

Plan ahead to help protect yourself in the event of an accident or injury.

To protect the privacy of those impacted by a disability, only first names are used and the photo is not of the actual individual profiled.

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