David Moorhead’s contributions to his community are numerous and significant. He can often be seen around the halls of Bryn Mawr Rehab, a physical medicine and rehabilitation hospital in Malvern, Pennsylvania, where he volunteers more than 500 hours each year. He also contributes many hours to his church, where he serves on several different committees. Through his altruism and caring spirit, Moorhead has made an enormous, positive impact on hundreds of people.
In 1968, Moorhead injured his spinal cord in a diving accident. The accident left him a C-5, C-6 quadriplegic. He became involved with Bryn Mawr Rehab after a close friend suffered a brain injury in a driving accident. Moorhead was inspired by the determination and hard work of the other patients and decided to volunteer at the hospital through the chaplaincy program.
Moorhead enrolled in Bryn Mawr Rehab’s Adapted Driving Education program in 1990. Six months later, he drove away in a specially equipped van. Since his injury, he has worked to help others who are disabled. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment at Bryn Mawr Rehab is his work with patients that have suffered spinal cord injuries. In 1991, he took responsibility for the Spinal Cord Injured Persons Support Group. At that time, there were only about 20 participants. Under his leadership, the group grew to a 100-member support system that meets monthly to discuss issues of concern and provide mutual support for its participants.
Moorhead actively recruits spinal cord injured patients from area institutions to join the group by visiting them throughout their rehabilitation stay and offering guidance, advice, and friendship. Those who know him say that he is always readily available to help a person in need of support and love.
In addition to his direct service to physically challenged individuals and their families, he has championed many causes for disability rights. For example, when a disabled Amish farmer was unable to accept funding from the state catastrophic injury fund due to religious reasons, Moorhead stepped in as trustee and caseworker, helping the farmer obtain necessary equipment and medical supplies. Through his support, the Amish family was able to start a business – a roadside stand of country crafts.
Members of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, have also been beneficiaries of Moorhead’s kindness. As property chairman for the Vestry of the church, he faithfully works to maintain the building structure and the grounds. This often involves negotiating with vendors or raising money to make the repairs. In addition, he serves on a regional committee for Episcopal Churches where he acts as a representative for disabled church members.