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"One Day at a Time" -Jean Courier

Posted by SCVMC Admin
February 04, 2016


Life is a journey full of speed bumps that one must overcome to reach the final destination. It is often difficult to see past the speed bumps and much easier to focus on the hardships; however, according to Mrs. Jean Courier, the only way to reach the happy finish line, that everyone is desperate to find, is to have a positive outlook on life and take every speed bump one at a time.

Throughout her 35 years as a teacher, Mrs. Courier always emphasized to her students that no matter how hard life gets, one must look for some positive in the situation. It is often much easier to look at the negative side, yet this does not help one grow and learn from it. Instead, Mrs. Courier encouraged her students to find some happiness in every problem life throws at them and have a positive attitude towards life. By finding some happiness in every situation, one is able to look at the situation in a different way, allowing them to see past the negativity and instead towards a happier ending. This philosophy that Mrs. Courier taught for over 35 years to her students is now more relevant to her then she could have ever possibly expected.

After falling down several stairs, Mrs. Courier experienced a spinal cord injury and, fortunate for us, chose Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Rehabilitation Trauma Center for her care. Throughout her journey here with us, she has always kept a smile on her face, eager to work hard through her therapy to return home to her husband and daughters.

However, during the beginning of her rehabilitation, Mrs. Courier was having some difficulty finding any positive from her injury. One evening, her daughters left her hospital room to go out to dinner, leaving Mrs. Courier behind. Seeing her daughters leave without her made her sad and jealous, she wanted to spend time with her family, but was not able to go. The next day, Dr. Stephen McKenna, changed her ventilator controls and allowed Mrs. Courier to speak for the first time since the start of her injury. Mrs. Courier was ecstatic that she had a voice again, eager to speak to anyone who was close enough to hear her, even herself since she loved and missed the sound of her voice. She then remembered what she taught her students for many years, every journey has its ups and downs. Although it was sad seeing her daughters leave the night before, she now was able to speak to them, which in her opinion, was much better then going to dinner with them. This illuminated to Mrs. Courier that she must not focus on what she is missing out, but instead what miracles are being placed right in front of her. Mrs. Courier’s is proud to see that her accident is bringing her family closer together, her daughters are able to lean on each other for support which Mrs. Courier has not seen in a long time. Seeing how close her daughters have become over the months has been one of the biggest pushes Mrs. Courier has to graduate from the rehabilitation center, and join her family back home.

Mrs. Courier knows first hand how hard it can be to find the positive in a difficult situation, but she emphasizes that to find this happiness, “one must try their best, one step at a time” especially at the gym. The best thing one can do for themselves is try their hardest and take everything day to day. It does not matter how long it takes one to get to the finish line, it only matters if one tried their hardest to get to the finish line.

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