No one is more surprised than Philip Nason when an uprising occurs within the walls of a New York rehabilitation hospital. Moments after Phil, director of recreation, hears that a group of mostly paraplegic patients have staged a rebellion, he learns that the hospital's director is furious and thinks the patients were inspired by Phil's current-events reading program. Now with his job in jeopardy, Phil is torn between his desire to empower his patients and pleasing hospital bureaucrats.
After the rebel patients beg Phil to create an activity program to help them win the respect of hospital staff and improve their lives, he eventually complies. When Phil acts on a hunch and pops the end of a paint brush into young quadriplegic Clayton Thomas's mouth, Clayton begins creating beautiful paintings inspired by the Bible. Phil, spurred by his artistic goals, begins developing a program to showcase the patients' artwork. Now all he has to do is convince the hospital's reluctant administrators that unleashing their patients' creativity is a good thing.
In this inspiring story, hundreds of chronically ill patients realize the power of art while rising up against the stifling restrictions of institutional bureaucracy-with help from their determined recreational director.