PA Realtor® featured in national magazine

By Kim Shindle | March 8, 2011 | 3 min. read

John Ulsh

Realtor® John Ulsh of Carlisle is grateful to be alive. The story of his recovery from a severe car accident three years ago and his motivation is the subject of an article in the March edition of Men’s Fitness.

Ulsh and his family were traveling in a car that was hit head-on by another driver who was killed instantly. Police estimated that the impact speed was 125 mph. That accident left him fighting for his life. Ulsh and his son were flown by LifeLion to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, while his wife and daughter, whose injuries were less severe, were taken to a closer hospital.

Doctors gave Ulsh a less than three-percent chance of living. He suffered a ruptured spleen and diaphragm, collapsed lungs, broken ribs, pelvis and left leg, his back was broken in four places and it was later discovered that his heart was damaged. He was in a coma for 15 days, lived in a nursing home for 10 weeks while his pelvis healed, then spent several months in rehab.

Ulsh became a REALTOR® three years ago to have greater flexibility with his work schedule. He’s a Realtor® with Hooke, Hooke and Eckman Realtors® of Carlisle. Previously, he worked for a family-owned jewelry business, Mountz Jewelers, where his wife and her brother still work. Ulsh sells residential and commercial businesses on the West Shore of Harrisburg and works with a partner in residential development in central Pennsylvania.

As a result of the accident, Ulsh lives with a lot of chronic pain that he copes with using alternative medical treatments, like acupuncture.  His left leg continues to swells and requires him to use a sleeve-like device to help his body reabsorb the excess fluid. Throughout all of these challenges, he remains optimistic and positive.

“For my family, we believe that if we can help others by sharing our story, it makes this a positive challenge for us. It means a lot to us that others can find some inspiration to our story,” Ulsh said.

A runner prior to his accident, Ulsh has spent the last year slowly regaining his strength by working out at the Carlisle YMCA. The experience has left him grateful to be alive and ready to share his motivation with others. He blogs about his recovery and experiences at

Ulsh was recently named “40 Under 40“ by the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal. Recipients are recognized for their commitment to business growth, professional excellence and their communities.

A volunteer for several organizations in his community, Ulsh serves on the board of the YMCA and the Employment Skill Center in Carlisle. While still in a wheel chair, he worked with those training to be nurse’s aides to explain what it’s like to be in a nursing home as a young person. Ulsh has also served as president of the Downtown Carlisle Association, worked on several United Way capital campaigns.

“I’m blessed to have my whole family,” Ulsh said. “I wasn’t supposed to live but I did and I’m grateful that my children don’t have to grow up without their father.”

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