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This Making a Difference
blog is all about how we here at the Reeve Foundation make a difference in the lives of those living with paralysis. Our NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) Program helped one person so much, he decided to get a tattoo of our logo to represent just how grateful he is to be able to walk again from being part of the NRN.
Brad Burns was injured in May 2008 in an automobile accident. As many of our community members know, life changes in an instant. So after a few weeks of having feelings of anguish, Brad decided he wasn't going to let what happened to him so quickly control the rest of his life.
"It was an absolute amazing opportunity to get better," says Burns. "It's definitely the hardest thing in my life I have gone through, but definitely worth it."
Jeff Buehner, Burns' therapist at the NRN, describes Burns' function during his first session. "He was dependent on a power wheelchair," explains Buehner. "He had had minimal or no use of his right upper extremity; his left arm was starting to get mobility back, but limited; his hand function was pretty much non existent, with some gross upper extremity movement in his left arm. He had no trunk control whatsoever. During his first evaluation, it took the maximum assistance of three people to get him into a standing position. And it was a pretty ugly looking stand, as you can imagine!"
Burns set a goal to be walking within a few years, but it happened within six weeks of being at the NRN. He started with a platform walker. Burns describes the platform walker as, "essentially two attachments, one on either side of the walker, which allowed me to rest my forearms on it because I wasn't strong enough to grab with my hands and support my upper body."
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