JSN Students Volunteer with Life Rolls On
Ten students from Thomas Jefferson University’s Jefferson School of Nursing (JSN) volunteered with Life Rolls On, a nonprofit organization that works with individuals affected by severe spinal cord injuries, at the event, They Will Surf Again on Saturday, June 15. Healthcare professionals and students, including nurses, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physical therapists, worked together to help 34 adaptive athletes to surf in Wildwood Crest, NJ.
Nikolas Pattantyus, a JSN student in the 12-month FACT program, started volunteering with Life Rolls On more than six years ago when his friend Chad DeSatnick started the New Jersey chapter of They Will Surf Again. Pattantyus served as a water team leader, responsible for the safety of the adaptive athletes and the 25 volunteers in the ocean.
“We all got to know the adaptive surfers throughout the course of the day and we were in awe of their courage,” said Pattantyus. “My team of volunteers would watch in [amazement] as we took out our surfers, full of nervous energy, and watch as they were transformed by the pure joy and freedom that comes with riding waves.”
Pattantyus approached his professors, Egger, Scherzer and Szajna, to recruit classmates for the event. In anticipation of next year’s event, Pattantyus has already contacted Jefferson’s OT and PT programs for next year’s multidisciplinary team.
The event also hosted volunteers from Moss Rehab and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. JSN students who volunteered at They Will Surf Again include:
- Kaitlin Birchmeier
- Kathryn Fabish
- Nils Hagen
- Elizabeth Howell
- Martin Igoe
- Melinda Jimenez
- Bronwyn Krug
- Kristen Marotta
- Kathleen Shaffer
- Claire Steiner
“The students involved have made a big difference in the success of the event, and how the athletes are handled and treated,” continued Pattantyus. “It presents students, like my classmates and I, a unique opportunity to work alongside an inter-disciplinary team composed of PTs, OTs, and other clinical minded professionals. This is just the kind of collaborative healthcare approach that TJU emphasizes.”
To view the video about this event, please click here