Crossing guard's life-altering injury now inspiring others - KMSP-TV

Crossing guard's life-altering injury now inspiring others

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Rolando Jimenez after hit by car Rolando Jimenez after hit by car
Rolando Jimenez today working hard to build his body Rolando Jimenez today working hard to build his body
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

Many of us don't realize how life can literally change in the blink of an eye. Rolando Jimenez says he knows all too wall.

But, this Gwinnett County man says she's not letting a potentially devastating event keep him down. Instead, he's using it as a chance to make a difference in others' lives.

"Prior to February, I was doing okay," Rolando said. "Then, it happened."

It happened at Lanier High School on Buford Highway, where Rolando, who worked as a school resource officer, was directing traffic. That morning, a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee plowed into him.

He said, "It's been a long...tough journey."

During the past seven months, Rolando's journey brought him to physical therapy at the Gwinnett Medical Center in Duluth.

Sue Alden, a physical therapy assistant, said, "I could see the change in him every time he came in here.... ‘cause we share him. You'd see the crutches come in, and then one crutch come in. He'd have the long leg brace and then that was coming off. So, you could see the progression."

The progression has been slow and often painful, Rolando says.

These days, to look at Rolando, you might not realize what bad shape he was once in. He couldn't eat for three months while his mouth was wired shut. He suffered a pelvic fracture, internal bleeding, torn tendons and ligaments in his left knee; as well as, two broken fingers.

In spite of all of that, Rolando pushes on.

Physical therapist Amy Wellington said, "He has a great attitude. He works hard. He always wants to do more."

Rolando says what keeps him going is being there for his wife, Melissa, and their four sons. Also, he says being there for community is key to his healing and motivation. It's a community that poured out its support to him after the crash.

"As early as I can remember, it was amazing support that was in my room. The people coming to visit, the letters, the flowers and all the messages and everything. I honesty believe that's what kept me going."

He says it's still difficult to wrap his mind around why he was hit by the SUV. But, Rolando says he hopes his experience will motivate other people to fight on, no matter what they are going through.

Rolando said, "I know it's tough for everybody, but I tell everybody, ‘Hey, if I can do it,  so can you.'"

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