A paralysis diagnosis is many people’s worst nightmare because the thought of not being able to control your body can be a mind boggling idea. If presented with this life-changing diagnosis, there still remains hope of regaining movement function; some people have gone on to beat the odds and move again! Though these cases can be rare, the possibility remains. Read on for some extraordinary tales of three people who overcome paralysis:
-Wesley Battles was just a normal 16 year old kid hanging with his girlfriend at her home one evening. Needing to get to his own home, he hopped into his car and proceeded on his way, not knowing that his life was about to completely change. In route to his house, Wesley collided with a tree and sustained brain and neck injuries that should have killed him but instead left him in a coma for two days with many broken bones as well as damaged pancreas and liver. When he woke back up, it was realized that his right side was paralyzed as a result of his injuries. Luckily for him, his father was a brain injury rehabilitation expert and had the innovative idea of using the Wii gaming console because of the motor skills that the game hones. After a couple of weeks, Wesley was playing Wii bowling and by using the game throughout the day, he recovered the full range of movement in his right side.
Motor skills returned to his son with the help of an unlikely method, his father has gone on to develop a rehabilitation program for other patients, using the Wii gaming console.
-College sophomore track star Adrian Gordon was doing the one thing that you’d figure there’s no way to sustain an injury from when he became paralyzed: sleeping. Adrian was asleep in the backseat of a friend’s car on a drive along the Long Island Expressway when a back tire blow out ejected the sleeping occupant through the back window, breaking his spine and causing total paralysis. The once agile athlete could then only move his eyelids for two weeks until he noticed that he could wiggle his toes as well. Adrian was walking on crutches within seven weeks because he willed himself and worked hard at regaining movement.
-In 1988 Chris Waddell was living out his dreams as a sophomore at Middlebury College, skiing on their competitive Division I skiing team. In a routine warming up session a ski came off, causing him to careen into a tree. The impact severed his spinal cord and crushed some vertebrae, destroying his ability to walk.
Determined to return to school, Chris made a comeback after two months and in a wheelchair. The school and his coach fitted the chair with a sit-ski and Chris was able to return to his true passion. Upon graduating from Middlebury, he joined the United States Disabled Ski team and went on to win 12 medals in the paralympics. On top of those accomplishments, he also was the first paraplegic to try climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in a hand-controlled, modified bike.
In life you never know what hand you will be dealt, but aiming to make the best of the situation is always a great outlook. Let these people be a reason to keep hope alive or at least to relish what you take for granted.