I have two wonderful people for you to meet as part of our series of stories coming out of the competition held among our NeuroRecovery Network centers
. All the NRNs got together to raise money for the Foundation, pitting themselves against each other to see who could raise the most.
In the process they each highlighted some of the people they have worked with or work at the centers. Go here to read all the stories and to help with the fundraising
These two stories come from the NRN center in Magee Rehabilitation out of Philadelphia, PA.Heather Schultz
Before 24-year-old Heather Schultz (pictured) was injured in a diving accident in August 2006, she was an active, upbeat, social young woman. When she first started locomotor training at Magee Rehabilitation, she could only move her right leg and had limited movement in her arms. She needed help to push a manual wheelchair, to transfer in and out of her wheelchair, and to move around in bed. She was unable to stand or walk. She also had to use a catheter for bladder control. At this time, Heather was pretty depressed, and had to put off plans to attend college in the fall.
Heather's goals for locomotor training were not only to walk again, but to "get back to my old self".
Heather participated in about 80 sessions of LT at Magee. Her focus while participating in Locomotor Training was to improve her standing balance, and to get as ‘recovered’ a walking pattern as possible, with the help of her therapists. When off of the treadmill, Heather practiced walking with different assistive devices, and spent a lot of time working on standing, as well as strengthening her abdominals. She worked at home just as hard as she did in therapy, and carried the Locomotor Training Principles with her throughout her daily life.
Over the 7 months of training at Magee, Heather regained movement in both of her arms and her left leg, and improved her strength in her right leg. When she was discharged, Heather was able to walk independently with 2 canes in and out of her home, and could climb stairs by herself. When Heather returned for a follow up visit in June 2008, she and her therapy team attempted running on the treadmill with great success. Upon watching herself run with minimal assist at only her right leg and pelvis she exclaimed “That was so COOL!” She was able to return to driving a car, and started working out at a gym. Her mood improved, and she returned to her old “fun-loving self.” Heather plans to return to school to study nuclear medicine, as well as continue making physical gains throughout her life.Scott Edwards
When Scott Edwards (pictured) was 17 he incurred a vascular stroke and was partially paralyzed below his T4 vertebra. When Scott initiated locomotor training he used a manual wheelchair to get around his home and community. While he could transfer in and out of his wheelchair by himself, he was unable to stand on his own or walk with an assistive device. Because of his injury, he had decided to finish his sophomore year of high school by being home-schooled.
Scott had three main goals when he started therapy:
1. To wean off all of his medications
2. To be able to walk as well as possible
3. To be able to return to school walking
Scott participated in 70 sessions of locomotor training at Magee. To work on meeting his goals, Scott followed a medication weaning schedule set by an NRN physician at Magee. During the body weight-supported (BWS) training, Scott and his therapists worked on getting the best stepping pattern possible, as well as practiced standing with good posture. His therapy off of the treadmill focused on improving his balance in standing, and gait training with different assistive devices. As returning to school became a possibility, his therapy off of the treadmill included practicing walking with an increasingly heavy backpack.
Scott was able to wean off all of his anti-spasticity and pain medications. After 3 months of training, he was able to return to school walking with forearm crutches. After another 2 months of training, he switched to using 2 canes. Now, Scott uses the canes only when walking outdoors, and walks without an assistive device when he’s in his home.Learn more about Magee and watch a video of Heather
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