Jerry was born in November 1, 1983 in Santo Domingo, Domican Republic where he lived until he was 2 years old, when he and his mother moved to Manhattan, NY. Jerry grew up in NY until he was 10 years old. As a young boy, he dreamed of being an actor. He enjoyed dancing and playing tag. Then Jerry moved to Jersey City, New Jersey for a couple of years then moved to Camden, NJ, where he attended high school. He had to be busy all the time. He worked several jobs, CVS, McDonalds, and a local family store. He still enjoyed dancing and rode his bike all the time. He rode his bike everywhere, sometimes all day long. Jerry also ran cross-country, played volley ball, wrestled and bowled in high school.
Upon graduation, Jerry joined the US Army. He went to basic training in KY. He did everything the drill instructor told him without difficulty. He was the PT stud! 100 push-ups, no problem sir!
After basic training, Jerry went to Fort Lee, VA, where he would learn his job as a supply specialist. Then he was off to Kansas to serve. Out in the middle of nowhere, with lots of corn fields around, he wasn’t loving Kansas. He was scheduled to deploy to Iraq in 2003. But Jerry dislocated his right shoulder while playing football as part of PT. He had to have surgery on the shoulder and then was switched to another unit. Jerry got papers to deploy to Afghanistan. On Jan 10, 2005, 4 days before deployment, the car Jerry was driving, slid on black ice and flipped a couple of times, landing in the path of oncoming traffic. Fortunately, the car did not hit anyone else. He had served in the Army for 3 years when this accident happened in 2005.
The accident put Jerry in a coma for 2 months. He suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. He had been declared dead for 12 minutes, had swelling to the brain and his prognosis was very poor. The doctors told his mother that he would probably not make it and if he did, he would be in a vegetative state the rest of his life, in a nursing home. He was on life support with a breathing tube, feeding tube and had to have his skull drilled to drain fluid off his brain. But, after 2 months, Jerry started coming out of the coma. He woke up in the VA hospital in Virginia.
Jerry had to relearn how to do everything from eating, talking, etc.
They sent Jerry to a hospital in Philadelphia so that he would be closer to his home. He underwent physical therapy, occupational and speech therapy. There was a TBI (traumatic brain injury) unit there but was too expensive. He was there about 2 months and the medical staff did not see any hope for further progression so they were going to discharge Jerry home. However, his house was not handicap accessible so they sent him to nursing home for about 6 months. While in the nursing home, Jerry learned about a TBI unit in Tampa, FL and he spoke to a social worker about going there. Things worked out and he went to the Tampa TBI unit at the VA hospital there for about 3 months.
Jerry decided to stay in the warm weather in Florida and eventually he and his mom and sister got a house in Kissimmee that is handicap accessible. Being so limited and restricted in activities, Jerry had put on extra weight that he didn’t like. He got up to 234. So, he decided to do something about it. He signed up at a local gym in Kissimmee, IronSport America where he started working with a trainer, Tammy Ulander, who pushed him and encouraged him to work towards a goal of doing a wheelchair bodybuilding competition. At first Jerry thought it was a joke but in October, 2011, he received his first trophy, a second place, in a bodybuilding competition. He also received an award for the Most Inspirational Athlete. He competed a second time in March 2012. Weighing in at 189.8, Jerry received a 1st place in heavyweight and a 1st place in novice. Jerry has far exceeded the expectations of many. He has a drive to be, “all that he can be”!
Automobile accident Jan 10, 2005. Why are you in the Wheelchair? TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury. Comatose for 2 1/2 months. Severed nerves did not reconnect.
Was gaining weight and wanted to be healthier and stronger
My personal trainer, Tammy Ulander, who is a female bodybuilder. I was also greatly encouraged by Nick Scott's videos online.
Started working out harder with my trainer and changed my diet.
Single Bicep curls #40 x 15 x 3
Lat pull down 130# x 15 x 3
Chest press 145# x 15 x3
Tricep ext 50x15 x3
Leg press 190-200# x 10 x 3
Leg ext & curls 70# x15x3
Shoulder shrugs #45 x15x3
My family, trainer, members at my gym (IronSport America) and watching wheelchair bodybuilding.
Stay motivated and set goals for yourself and never give up. Don't stop trying.