Contributor Bio: Doug

Between miles of rolling golden wheat fields and rocky sagebrush filled pastures, you will find a unique man to the world of spinal cord injuries, Doug. A horse and cattle ranch, named Rocklyn Paints & Piedmontese Cattle is where he and his family can be found, in Davenport, Washington. Doug purchased this 300 acre span of beautiful country, just an hour west of Spokane, in 1995. Today, his family calls it home with a herd of rodeo horses, cattle and numerous other animals they call friends. “It’s more than a ranch, it’s a lifestyle!”

Doug and his wife of 21 years, Robin, have raised their children here. Two beautiful daughters; Bailey, 17, and Payton, age 10. At the ranch, boredom is a choice! There is always something to be done, or a playmate to be fed. The family keeps busy attending and competing in over 30 rodeos, fairs and ranch events throughout the year. Robin and both girls compete from local events all of the way up to the national level. The family spends most of their summers traveling throughout the western United States to pursue their favorite way of life.

Doug’s favorite uniform is a cowboy hat, long-sleeved shirt, jeans, and boots. His all-terrain wheelchair tires finish out this rugged look. Don’t let this cowboy mislead you however. He very easily transitions into an extremely knowledgeable and confident Medical Supply Business Owner/Founder and expert in the field of customer service, spinal cord injuries and disability adaptations.

Doug is a man that has experienced more than most can dream; a life filled with endless challenges, adventures and rewards. But there was a time when Doug’s life path was dramatically changed forever and his future was uncertain.

On September 11, 1994, Doug and his wife Robin were at a stop light behind a metro bus in Bothell, Washington, when they were rear ended at high speed by a drunk driver. Doug’s injuries were caused by the seat-belt. As fate would have it, the accident occurred 3 blocks from a fire station and only a brief ambulance trip to Harborview Medical Center, one of the leading Spinal Cord Centers in the United States. Doug sustained a C1-C2 spinal cord injury and would spend the next 6 months in Harborview relearning everything including how to breathe and swallow. The top neurosurgeons gave him less than a 1% chance of moving anything below his eyes due to his injury level. This type of injury is generally fatal. When asked how he survived this catastrophic level of injury, Doug explains, “I am not sure why I did not die. I believe I had a bigger purpose in my life. There is no medical reason why I have the function and capabilities I do.” What could have taken Doug’s life instantly has propelled him to a place of unbelievable strength and passion.

Doug founded his own medical supply company in 1999. After his accident, he could not return to his former jobs; shoeing horses and building houses. The future was unclear of how he would continue to be the provider for his family until one day he witnessed firsthand the dilemma of not being able to get urinary catheters on a regular basis. There was no business willing to ship to his country home. It didn’t take this cowboy long to solve his plight. His solution, open his own durable medical equipment company (DME) and make sure customers could receive their medical necessity supplies; regardless if they lived in the city or the rugged country. Just like the ranch and his rehabilitation, Doug, built his business with hard work and determination. His unique injuries and challenges with his own recovery have given him an experience level that very few people have. He has lived through it first-hand and can share his knowledge with others. His outlook on life brings a fresh perspective on the way he views his business. “Treat people with respect and dignity, be approachable, fair and give back to those in need and you will be able to look in the mirror and like what you see.” is a motto Doug lives by. Today, Doug’s company services customers worldwide. He takes great pride in his work and is always focused on providing a great customer experience coupled with first-hand knowledge.

When Doug is met with a challenge, he will prevail. This cowboy will not back down. In his profession, he has the unique opportunity to share with the newly injured. In most cases, Doug, will undoubtedly share his unyielding mantra, “You can still break a sweat.” Doug is heavily involved with wheelchair sports, outdoor activities and the promotion of self-motivation. “Even after a spinal cord injury a good day’s work is good for your soul. You may not have a ranch to tend to but get active and do something you enjoy.” And I just dare you to reply, ‘I don’t have anything to do’ because I’m certain this cowboy will put you to work! Just ask his kids.

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