Medical resident featured on "Today Show"
Story brings hope to other students

Cole Wahab, Staff Writer
December 01, 2004

Jesse Lieberman, a resident at the ECU Brody School of Medicine, who is hoping to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor, appeared on the "Today Show" last Monday.

Lieberman appeared on the segment, "Against the Odds", a piece that shows the outstanding and amazing stories of individuals who have beaten tremendous challenges in their lives.

In February of last year, Lieberman was helping his neighbor get back into his condo when he fell three stories from his balcony. The fall broke his neck and he was rushed to the hospital with a severe spinal cord injury. The accident left him a quadriplegic. After spending two weeks in the hospital and eight weeks in intense physical therapy, Lieberman was released and sent home on April 25, 2003.

Within three days of his discharge, he was ready to continue with school. He used his months of rest and rehabilitation to study for his medical boards. Despite his doctor's recommendations that he take some time off, Lieberman pushed ahead, saying, "I would rather fail trying, than not try at all."

Lieberman said that many people have told him they would never have the strength or will to recover from an injury like his, but he disagrees.

"You don't really know. I've always wanted to be a doctor ... and I knew as long as my mind's working, there wasn't any question," said Lieberman.

Lieberman said that some people did not think he should have gone on after he had graduated.

"There were plenty of people who said, 'Well done, congratulations,' and they thought I should've stopped," Lieberman said.