We can hardly believe it, but there’s only 1 day left before our 2nd annual Walk to Victory! This 24-hour step-a-thon will raise funds for Magee’s Locomotor Training Program and The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network. Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, current and former patients and their family and friends will walk on treadmills in our Locomotor Training Clinic for 24 straight hours! Each walker is fundraising to bring greater access to new, activity-based therapies for more patients with spinal cord injury, and everyone has a story to tell.
Throughout the week, we’ve shared a few of those stories with you! Today,in our final installment, we want you to meet David Dragon.
David Dragon was 18 years old when he started his freshman year at Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a cadet in the Army ROTC. He enjoyed football, hunting and working on cars. On September 1, 2012, he was a passenger in a serious car accident. The driver crashed the car over a wall, causing the car to fall 30’ onto the Central Scranton Expressway, landing on its roof. David was rushed to Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. Doctors determined that he sustained a C 6-7 spinal cord injury. Unable to move or feel his legs, he underwent surgery the next morning to stabilize his broken spine. He spent 11 days in the ICU in critical condition. He recalls his surgeon telling him that he needed to go to Magee because “they are the best” rather than the local rehab center in Scranton.
On September 9, 2012 he began intensive physical and occupational therapy as an inpatient at Magee. Locomotor Training was a big part of his recovery. At first, he thought it was pointless to be walking on this treadmill with people moving his legs when he couldn’t move them at all. However, on October 11th he recalls using his phone to capture the 1st movement he was able to perform, rocking his right leg in and out. When it was time to be discharged, he knew that he needed to go to Magee’s Locomotor Training clinic to continue his recovery as part of the NeuroRecovery Network (NRN).
Dave and his family show their dedication to his recovery by traveling more than two hours each way from the Scranton area to Philadelphia five days a week to participate in the therapy program. Gradually as Dave improved he reduced his days to 4 days a week and is currently participating in Locomotor Training 3 days a week. Dave has completed 260 LT sessions to date.
“The therapists and the therapy aids make the training fun,” he said. “That makes it easier to go to therapy, which plays a huge role in the mental aspect of the recovery process.”
When Dave started the program, he could not walk and could stand only 18 seconds unassisted with a walker. Dave has become more independent, and is currently walking with the use of a cane. He returned to community college last year and will be transitioning to West Chester this fall. Dave continues to stay optimistic about his recovery.
Help us reach our goal to provide LT to other people like David! To donate to David’s fundraising campaign, please click here. We hope to see you all this weekend as we Walk to Victory!