After a horrible accident, RBC Wealth Management financial advisor finds a sense of purpose at work
In 2013, Vin Crudo was mountain biking with family when he crashed and was thrown over his handlebars. As he lay on the ground, he tried to move his body, but couldn’t. He knew he was paralyzed.
The road to recovery was long, and complete with many twists and turns. But for Crudo, one of the things that helped drive him along the way was his desire to return to work.
After a few years, he was able to do just that. Today, Crudo is back to serving clients as a financial advisor at RBC Wealth Management in Hartford, Connecticut. The support he received from his manager and from the firm as a whole were critical to getting him to where he is today, he says.
Finding a sense of purpose
After the accident in 2013, Crudo was stabilized and operated on at a local hospital before being flown to a top spinal injury facility in Atlanta. There, doctors diagnosed him with the most severe grade of spinal cord injury. He was not expected to have much motor or sensory function again.
However, a month into rehab, Crudo started to experience feeling in his legs and other parts of his body again. After a reevaluation, the doctors upgraded his diagnosis. Things were looking more positive for him, until he developed an infection following a surgery, setting his recovery back several more months.
During this time, Crudo was resolved to return to work. He had worked in the financial services industry since college, and he realized that it was important for him to try to return as much as possible to his old way of life.
“After being so active, the worst thing you can do after an accident is nothing,” Crudo says.
RBC Wealth Management financial advisor Vin Crudo
So he reached out to Aaron Scott, director of the firm’s Hartford complex, about returning to the office. Scott worked with the firm’s human resources to plan how that process could work.
“When Vin said he wanted to come back, there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to help him come back,” Scott says. “We’re here to give him the tools and resources he needs to get the job done. He’s an integral part of this office.”
Crudo, who is in a wheelchair, needed a special desk for his office that elevates to accommodate his chair. He also has a full-time aide who helps get him to and from work, and stays with him at the office throughout the day. But otherwise, he is able to perform all the physical functions of his job – logging on, typing, speaking on the phone, working with computers – without any problem. And that’s made a big difference in his life.
“Being able to work provides you with a sense of purpose,” Crudo says. “I get satisfaction and joy in helping clients, because you’re doing something that’s useful.”
Raising awareness about spinal cord injuries
After all he’s seen and gone through, Crudo now cares deeply about raising awareness for the general public about the severity of spinal cord injuries.
“These injuries can be so debilitating, and so expensive,” Crudo says. “Depending on the severity of the injury, a survivor could still live a productive life. But while you’re alive, it’s very expensive. I want to raise awareness for people who are hurt and going through that.”