TUPELO, Miss. – Not long ago, Jade Yates lived the life of a normal active- teenager; then everything changed in a split second.
“I was in a car accident March 4th of 2008 and I had a spinal cord injury, level T-three, and I was paralyzed from waist down,” the now 16 year old explains.
Her spinal cord was nearly severed and her chances of walking again appeared to be slim. But now after nearly two years of dedication and determination, things are looking up.
“She’s a hard worker and that’s 99-percent of it most of the time,” says North Mississippi Medical Center Physical Therapist, Alison Farley.
With muscle spasms causing her right leg to straighten and left leg to bend, the process hasn’t been easy. In the beginning Jade couldn’t even stand up on her own. Today, with some assistance, she can walk.
“Not being able to move your legs is hard, so to come here and go through therapy is good. At first it was a little weird but I’ve gotten use to it,” Jade says. “I come here twice a week, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and I stay for an hour and thirty minutes.”
Jade spends the first 20 minutes of therapy on a bike, but this is no ordinary cycle. It provides electrical stimulation to the muscles decreasing spasms and increasing strength.
“The first two minutes the motor actually moves her legs, then electrical stimulation gradually builds up to the maximum set range that we have it set on and then she can actually pedal on top of the e-stem to increase the speed of the bike and benefit her muscle,” explains Farley.
While there’s no way of knowing just how long it will take, pedaling the bicycle is helping the process along.
Jade’s just happy to be getting back on her feet.
“The goal is just for me to be able to be more mobile and just hopefully walk again,” she says.
In the meantime Jade Yates is still going about a normal teenage life. She will represent the junior class on the Eupora High School Homecoming Court, October 23rd.