They are devastating injuries. A fall, a sports accident and suddenly, your spinal cord is damaged. It happens 300,000 times a year in this country.
Some people give up, but many are fighting back.
After a car wreck, Kendell Hall heard from her doctors that she would never walk again. They didn’t know Kendall very well. Kendall lives independently, even owns and operates REACT Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center. That’s a restorative and non-profit gym for people living with spinal cord injuries.
“I’ve always been determined to shoot for the stars, and I’ve always been determined to get back on my feet and walk again,” Kendell Hall, Executive Director of REACT Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center in Dallas, Texas said.
Chesley McGuire was told don’t expect much after her accident, but trainers are changing those expectations by getting her stronger.
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve gained 10 pounds of muscle, which is huge for me because, I mean that’s a lot of weight of weight for me,” Chesley McGuire, REACT client said. “It’s huge, but mentally it helps a lot too.”
Paralyzed from the chest down after a motorcycle accident, Bill McKee now swims a thousand meters a week, works out in a Superman shirt, and is medication free.
“They look at your chart and they say well, you’re a T5 complete injury, you can’t do those things,” Bill McKee, REACT client said. “And I’m like, oh really?”
Certified strength and conditioning specialists use restorative exercises for everything from spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries to multiple sclerosis. And the workouts are intense.
“The mind is a powerful tool,” Ryan Bachik, REACT Director of Development and Education said. “So our job here is to take what the doctors say because they know what they are talking about, but it doesn’t mean that things can’t happen, that miracles can’t happen.”
McKee said, “There’s tons of warriors in here that are fighting back and not content to sit in a wheel chair.”
“I really think you have to believe to achieve,” McGuire said. “There’s nobody in here that’s not making progress.”
While traditional medicine typically disputes the therapeutic value of restorative exercise, those who do it, swear by it, and continue to amaze the medical community.
If you’d like to learn about Huntsville spine care, you can find educational material at SportsMed
Or you can visit Spine and Neuro Center in Huntsville
By Erin Dacy