Dan Blasini has spent most of the last decade working with active duty troops and veterans who have experienced traumatic combat injuries. As a registered nurse and the director of veteran affairs for a rehabilitation hospital in Texas, he’s helped countless amputees move toward functional independence and the successful return to their community and home.
It’s a job that was tailor-made for him. Blasini served in the military, so he knows about combat-related injuries and stress, and his nursing experience includes rehabilitation, orthopedics, wound care and psychiatric disciplines.
These same experiences prepared him for his own life-changing event. In 2015, Blasini was in a motorcycle accident that nearly claimed his life. He survived the accident, but his injuries forced him to make a tough decision.
“My left leg and foot were in really bad shape and continued to get worse,” Blasini said. “The likelihood of a full recovery was very slim, so I had to have my left leg amputated below the knee. It certainly wasn’t an easy decision, but it was one I felt fully prepared to make because I knew amputation would get me healthy, back to work and able to support my family faster.”
Blasini believes many moments in his life prepared him for dealing with his accident and recovery, starting with the unexpected death of his father.
“My dad died when I was very young, and he wasn’t insured,” he said. “So I knew how important it was to protect my family in the event something happened to me. I have employee benefits through my company, including long and short term disability, critical illness, accident and life insurance from Unum.”
Blasini’s accident insurance paid a benefit directly to him that was used to cover out-of-pocket costs of treatment. He also received benefits from his Unum disability policy to replace a portion of his paycheck while he recovered.
“I’ll always have financial responsibilities, and having these policies to fall back on was reassuring,” he said. “It gave me peace of mind to focus on my rehabilitation and to learn how to prepare for this new life.”
It’s no surprise Blasini was determined to get back to work as quickly as possible. He says he’s fortunate to work for an employer with a mission to improve the health and quality of life for wounded soldiers, and that also looks out for its own employees.
“I’ve seen the importance of having policies that carry you through troubled waters,” he said. “My employer saved me because they offered these benefits to me, and allowed me to just focus on getting better.”
Pictured here: Dan Blasini