Monday, December 21, 2009

A CURE IS ON THE HORIZON! PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR MY RECOVERY!

It has been a few weeks since my last post. I apologize to everyone who is following my blog. Let me start off by saying THANK YOU! THANK YOU, for all of you who continue to read my blog after two years and for following my progress. You have NO IDEA what it means to me to hear that people are still reading my blog posts. It is because of all of your encouragement that I have remained motivated and continually work towards my goal of walking again!

When we started this blog, it was during the roughest time of my life. The doctors were not sure if I was going to live or not and the blog helped keep people informed. Since then, it has continued to not only inform people of my progress but has become my ministry to share with everyone God's blessings on my life! The REAL purpose of this blog is not just for my random updates on my progress, but that others can SEE GOD working through the miracles and blessings in my life! I hope and pray that when people read my blog YOU SEE CHRIST! I hope you see "WHAT IS POSSIBLE" through hard work and FAITH. I know I will one day walk again, I JUST KNOW! I will continually press towards my goal all the while giving God ALL THE PRAISE and GLORY for each success along the way.

Most of you have been wondering about my last post and the new addition to our family! My sister gave birth last week to a BEAUTIFUL new baby girl, Kyleigh Rae! She was named after her father, KYLE and my grandfather whose name was RAY and was a huge influential part on all of his grandchildren. I am very excited to be a proud new UNCLE!!

In my last post I had mentioned about saving my sisters umbilical cord blood. We had planned on extracting the stem cells from the blood which could then be used to treat my spinal cord injury. I talked with Dr. Wise Young the leading SCI researcher and after consideration we decided it would not be the best thing to do at this time. The chances that my sister's stem cells would be a match for me would be very slim, less than 25%. It would cost a lot of money to save the blood, and once the science was ready to move forward on the clinical trials it would be a gamble whether or not the stem cells would work. There is a large bank of stem cells which can be accessed once they start with the clinical trials. Using the stem cells from the bank would find me a closer match. They would do blood tests on me and then go to the bank to find the match, this would be a better choice than saving my sister's cord blood and crossing our fingers it would work? In other words should we spend a lot of money with a less than 25% chance of working? OR spend the money down the road and buy from the cord blood bank where we can find a donor with a 95% chance of working?

Science is making REMARKABLE strides in finding a cure! I have been told many times that if you have a spinal cord injury, this is an EXCITING TIME in research. They are making amazing discoveries DAILY! In the laboratories they have come close to finding a cure. WELL....they have actually FOUND THE CURE, but it has not been tested on humans yet. In the laboratories scientists have regrown the nerves in the spinal cord and have regained function in rats and other animals who are walking again after having there spinal cord's severed. They have seen it work in microscopes and in preliminary tests on animals. THE ONLY THING holding back the cure is BUREAUCRACY and MONEY! If any of you are scientist (which I assume none of you are) the FDA and government make you jump through 100 hoops before they open up testing on human clinical trials. Once you have met the hundreds criteria from the FDA, they throw 100 more hoops and road blocks in front of you! Its a NEVER ENDING struggle for the scientist to test their CURES on humans. Cures and effective therapies to CURE chronic spinal cord injuries are currently sitting on shelves in laboratories waiting to be tested on humans.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/video/16172312/index.html

This video link posted above is OLD! Dr Stephen Davies and MANY others have made HUGE strides just recently! This video is actually outdated as new research is coming DAILY! Our problem, as you can hear at the end of the video, "human clinical trials will HOPEFULLY begin in the next three years!" HAHA, that is the struggle scientists are facing! They need money and grants to fund the trials and the Government to allow them to test the therapies on humans. I have heard COUNTLESS scientists say they are on the BRINK of finding effective therapies to regain function and allow those with Spinal Cord Injuries to WALK AGAIN! All their data and tests in the labs tell them IT WILL WORK, but they are not allowed to give it to humans?!?
PLEASE, NEVER STOP BELIEVING! PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR ME! WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

I LOVE YOU ALL!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Sunday, November 29, 2009

SOME EXCITING NEWS!! GOD IS GOOD!

I have some exciting news to report to everyone about the conference I attended last week in Orlando. One of the top scientist in the world, Dr. Wise Young is working on a cure for spinal cord injuries had befriended me and we have become pen pals. About two weeks ago he wrote me an email saying that he would be in Orlando at a hotel in Disney for a large conference with other scientist and doctors. The conference was not opened to the public and was only for other scientist working on a cure for paralysis. The top neurologists from John Hopkins, The Miami Project, Shriners Hospital were all attending the meeting. Dr. Young allowed me to be a guest and sit in on the conference in the back of the hotel ball room. My family and I sat on the last row and listened to the scientists give there talks on the latest break through discoveries in spinal cord research. We were by FAR the DUMBEST people in the room haha!
Dr. Young got to the podium and talked about some break through things that he was working on. Dr. Youngs work revolves heavily around STEM CELLS. Stem Cells are building block cells that can be genetically engineered and altered to become ANY cell in the body. They can become, heart cells, muscles cells, and SPINAL CORD NERVE CELLS! This work is being done TODAY in the laboratory and they have genetically created nerve cells and implanted them into severed spinal cords in animals, AND THEY ARE WALKING AGAIN!!
Most of Dr. Youngs research is coming from Stem Cells from Umbilical Cord blood. When a woman gives birth, the blood which is in the umbilical cord is RICH with stem cells. They can use the blood from the umbilical cord and combine it with Lithium and are seeing amazing results. Nerve cells are bridging the gap and making connections at the injury site, causing animals to walk again and regain function.
This got me thinking.....hmmm WHO DO I KNOW WHO IS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY?? MY SISTER!! HAHA I asked Dr. Young if maybe we could store my sisters blood and use it in me one day! He said, YES and gave me a website of a company that is doing just that. They collect umbilical cord blood from either donations or specific donors. The company works just like a blood bank. But instead of the Red Cross collecting blood from your arm, this company collects umbilical cord blood in order to use it to fight diseases and sometime soon...CURE PARALYSIS! Its going to cost some money in order to do this, but sister is more than happy to help and is looking forward to helping me in fighting this terrible injury.

http://www.stemcytefamily.com/

Please click on this website and you can read more about the AMAZING break through in stem cell research from Umbilical Cord blood. The best thing, is this is NOT controversial like embryonic stem cells. Please click on the link above and watch the informative video on the front page (third icon entitled WATCH THE VIDEO). This will explain everything. Please pray that we are able to do this!

I have included in this blog post a video of my walking. This was taken last Sunday. Mind you, I do have braces on in this video, because my knees are still too weak to stank for long periods of time.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR MY RECOVERY!
I LOVE YOU ALL
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT


video

Monday, November 23, 2009

I AM SO BLESSED!!

It has been awhile since my last post, but I wanted to share with everyone the blessings that have come my way recently. God has been watching over me from the beginning and each and everyday his plans seem to be working themselves out. I am starting to understand more and more what it means to put all your trust in God. He will take care of you if we can just learn to lay our troubles at his feet.

A few days ago I received a phone call from a gentleman who I attended church with in Atlanta during my time at Shepherds. The man is the brother of one of our dear friends in Florida. My brother and I both graduated with his niece and nephew from high school. He called me in regards to something that North Atlanta Church was doing as a ministry to others and he wanted to know if they could help me. An anonymous donor at the church gave a substantial amount of money to be given out to people who are in need. The only stipulation to the donation was that the money was to be given out in order to pay the bills of those in need. Unfortunately I did NOT have any outstanding bills at that time. I thanked him for considering me and offering to help me financially. Since the monies could only be used to pay bills, I did not have any need at that time. WELL, GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS!! THE VERY NEXT DAY!! I received a letter in the mail from UAMS hospital. The letter I received was a BILL!! I thought we had handled the bill a YEAR ago, and I had not heard anything back from the hospital over the bill in question. As it would turn out, I DID owe the money from my time in Little Rock. Needless to say, the North Atlanta Church is handling the bill. GOD IS GOOD!! It is amazing how he has watched over me and taken care of my every need. From my home being remodeled, and my surprise fund raiser in order to raise money for the Shepherd Center and now my outstanding bills have ALL BEEN HANDLED by wonderful Christians. I could NOT have gone through this without the never ending love from the brothers and sisters in Christ who have given SO MUCH to help me out!

God has been taking care of my every need. He is not only healing my body but he is taking care of my EVERY NEED!! There is NO DOUBT that the timing of the church in Atlanta helping me and the bill that came the day after was a coincidence! God is in control of my life and he is guiding my recovery. I know that the plans he has for me will be GREAT! I can not wait to speak to others to share my amazing story of recovery and blessings! I pray God will be glorified and that I can bring others to him through this injury!

PLEASE continue praying for my recovery! PLEASE do not give up on me. I know that as time passes that people will fade in and out of my story. I am coming up on my two year anniversary and I still have years to go to reach my goal of walking again. I am making SUCH great progress and I am seeing amazing things with my legs each week!! I NEED YOUR PRAYERS in order to overcome this injury! Its going to be a LONG, TALL mountain to climb but with all of my support and with God as my focus, I will achieve my goal!

THANK YOU ALL
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Saturday, November 7, 2009

MY TRIP TO LITTLE ROCK AND TV INTERVIEW

I apologize for the delay in posting, I was waiting on my TV segment to air so that I could include it this weeks blog.

My trip last weekend to Little Rock was amazing. Because of the weather, we were not able to fly into Little Rock. Instead, we flew just outside Atlanta to my dad's office and drove to Little Rock from there. We were not able to get to Little Rock early enough on Thursday so my television interview was postponed until Friday. When I arrived at UAMS, I was anxious and excited to meet Dr. Pait, the surgeon who saved my life. I arrived early for my interview with THV 11 news. When I came into the new lobby of the hospital, I was met by Andrea Peel who worked in P.R. for the hospital and arranged the TV interview. Well, when I came to the hospital, I had a BIG SURPRISE waiting on me! Andrea, informed me that Dr. Greenwauld, my shoulder surgeon and ALL of the nurses who worked on me in ICU were also going to be coming down to meet me. I couldn't believe it, I was so excited to meet the entire staff who worked on me during the most crucial moments when my life was literally in the balance.

Soon, after my interview began I looked up to see Dr. Pait standing there! I shook his hand and gave him a hug, I couldn't stop thanking him for all the work he did on me. Shortly thereafter Dr. Greenwauld came down and I was able to thank him for the complex shoulder reconstruction he performed on me.

One of the greatest moments however, was to meet the ICU nurses who were there for me EVERYDAY! One of the nurses even brought my chart down to go over all of my injuries. I was amazed by all of the details of my injury while reading through my charts. The nurse explained to me that when someone is injured they are given a grade based on the severity of their injury. Anyone with a grade of 15 or higher needs the most urgent of care and requires a LEVEL 1 Trauma unit. The nurse said when I came in I was given the grade of 38!! I enjoyed thanking all of the nurses who took care of me. There were lots of hugs and tears and was a WONDERFUL experience.

It was also wonderful to see all of my friends and the people at Pleasant Valley Church of Christ. I spoke to the SEEKERS and SINGLES in the gym on Sunday morning. It was so great to speak to everyone and share my story. My lesson was called "DEALING WITH STRUGGLES IN YOUR LIFE." I always look forward to seeing my friends and speaking to PV!

BELOW IS THE VIDEO OF MY TV SEGMENT ON THE NEWS! You can see my doctors and all of my nurses who saved my life!!

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR ME AND MY RECOVERY!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM
BRENT

Monday, October 26, 2009

Im Going to Little Rock This Week!!

This is going to be a wonderful week for me and I am very excited! On Thursday, I will be traveling up to Little Rock to go to Harding's homecoming and visit with old friends. I will also be attending Pleasant Valley Church and will be speaking there as well. This will be the first time I have spoken to the Church since last December. I always look forward to speaking to P.V. and seeing the people who have made a lasting impact on my life!

This is going to be an extra special trip for me. For the FIRST time since my accident I am going to meet the people who saved my life at UAMS hospital. I was in ICU from Dec 8th until January 17th. While I was there, I had three surgeries and spent the entire time in ICU. I was induced into a coma for most of that time, and the times where I was awake, I was so heavily drugged I was not coherent! I never got to meet any of my surgeons and doctors who took care of me, especially in the initial trauma unit.

Last week I tried to make a phone call to Dr. Pait, my neurosurgeon. I was put through to his nurse and left a message. A few days ago she returned my phone call. I told her my name and that I would be visiting Little Rock next week. I told her I would like to meet Dr. Pait and thank him for saving my life. I was SHOCKED, when the nurse remembered me! She remembered every last detail of my accident and my family as well. The people of Pleasant Valley also made an IMPACT on the people of that hospital. There were close to 100 people in the waiting room and the over flow was sitting in the hallways the night of my accident. Every nurse and doctor working on that wing remembers such an AWESOME outpouring of love that was shown to me following the first few days after my accident! The love that was shown to me by all of my friends and church family made an impression on them and they were able to see God's love through it!

The nurse told me that she would look through my files and would try to gather up all of the nurses and doctors who worked on me throughout the most crucial times while I was in ICU. She told me that I was in rough shape and said, "It was touch and go with you for a long time." The people at UAMS worked for weeks to save my life. Through all of the complications and all of the surgeries God was with them and my life was spared. My surgeon's nurse told me that she is going to keep my visit a surprise and will not tell ANYONE I am coming. I am going to shake the hands and hug all the people who saved my life (I JUST HOPE I CAN MAKE IT THROUGH IT!) I am forever grateful for all the prayers and support that was shown to me! The love shown to me from Pleasant Valley has made a lasting impression on everyone who witnessed it. God's love was shown to all the workers and I am so humbled and blessed to have been apart of such an awesome congregation! I look forward showing my thanks to everyone and express to them my gratitude.

THANK YOU ALL FOR SUPPORTING ME!! PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR MIRACLES AND MY TOTAL AND COMPLETE HEALING!
I LOVE YOU ALL
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Amazing New Progress! Praise God!

In this post I wanted to share with everyone my progress and blessings in my life!! God has blessed me so much as of lately and I am excited about my new progress. Let me leave everyone in suspense and start off by talking about my week.

1)Last weekend, I had a lot of fun as my brother took me out on the lake and I was able to go skiing! Don't jump to conclusions, I was not up on regular skis but I went with the Disabled Water Sports of Florida as they were putting on an event near my house. They had specialized skis that you would sit in and could go out on the lake. The Cypress Gardens ski girls helped out and volunteered to be side skiers. These are professional skiers that you would see do the pyramids and stunts during their shows! (side note: I told me brother that I would rather the GIRLS ski with me!) haha he TOTALLY understood and side skied with others who were boating. It was great to meet others with SCI injuries and also to go skiing! I have not been on the water since my accident so it was wonderful to get some sun and fun!

2)I had my driving evaluation last week and I am currently in the process of looking for a vehicle. I went last Friday to go shopping and I am narrowing my search, trying to find the right vehicle. I am excited to start driving again and can not wait to get out on the road. We will get a vehicle within the next few weeks.

3)Now for the moment you have been waiting for, NEW PROGRESS! I am considered a LOWER MOTOR NEURON INJURY! which means that my legs should NOT respond to electrical stimulation and contract the muscles. I have been using E-stim on my legs everyday since my accident and a few nights ago, I noticed that my calf muscles are FLEXING NOW!! Once I put the E-stim on my legs my calf muscles twitch and fired, something my legs are NOT SUPPOSE TO DO!! For almost 2 years I have NOT seen this happen before. I spoke with one of the top SCI doctors who explained to me that I was regaining motor neurons. He said that in order for the leg to twitch I have to excite the motor neurons, which as a LOWER MOTOR NEURON LESION I am not suppose have them! I took the E-stim, off my legs and whenever i tried to flex my calf muscles I WAS DOING IT! PRAISE GOD!! I am regaining more movement in my legs! Not only am I flexing my calf muscles but I am also wiggling my toes on my right foot at will. I have noticed my toe movements have become more voluntary and I can move them every time. PRAISE GOD!!

This injury has taught me many things, one is patience and also to rely on God. I know I WILL BE HEALED ONE DAY!! I have known this from the beginning! He has a plan for my life that I am just now starting to figure out! He is using my body and my recovery to bring Glory and Honor to him! I am so thankful for all the blessings in my life! I ask for everyone to continue to pray for me as I work towards walking again! THANK YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS!
So much in him,
BRENT

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

START OF MY HOME WORKOUT PROGRAM!

Well, its another week at home in Florida and I am starting my home exercise program that was given to me from the Shepherd Center. My family and I have just joined the YMCA by my house where I will continue my rehab daily. My therapist still comes to my house every week and we build on the things that Shepherd taught me.

My days will consist of the following: 1)Passive Bike for an hour 2) Standing frame for an hour 3) Working out on the Nustep leg bike at the YMCA for an hour 4) Upper body workout at the gym 5) Walking with my braces in my driveway and we hope to walk in the gym at the YMCA soon. 6) I also do a therastim treatment on my quads and calves to keep my muscles strong. Once a week my PT comes to my house and we do various exercises at my house. My legs always feel so great when my PT comes to my house and really works on my core and increasing my strength in the muscles I have regained in my legs.

That is a days work for me! I am excited to start working out at the YMCA and also continuing my walking. My goal is to ween myself from my wheelchair and ONLY use my braces for an entire day. I want to start using my braces everyday, so that I will become more comfortable walking. Its like, if you want to teach someone how to swim, you just throw them into the water! haha Its either SINK or SWIM! I guess I just have to throw myself into "WALKING" so that I will get better at it! I will try to keep posting videos of my workouts at the YMCA and from my therapy at home.

Some GREAT news! Today I took my driving evaluation and passed with flying colors. Vocational Rehab had a driver come from Tampa to my house and we drove around my town. The teacher said I did GREAT and I have NO PROBLEM driving! Now, we are going to look for a vehicle. Once we decide what vehicle to get, Vocational Rehab well pay for the modifications. The gentleman today said, I will NOT need many modifications after he saw what I was able to do! I hope to be driving SOON!! I CANT WAIT!! I am so ready to start driving!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO KEEP ME IN YOUR PRAYERS!!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Sunday, September 20, 2009

HOME SWEET HOME!!!

Well, im sorry again for the delay in my blog posts but I hope to get back on track of writing every Sunday night.

I AM HOME FINALLY!!!! With mixed emotions I have returned home to Florida for a break from rehab. I hope to return to Beyond Therapy in the future but until then I will be at home working on a home exercise program that was given to me from Shepherds. I was very pleased with the Shepherd center and the progress that I have made throughout my time there. I have increased my stamina and strength and I am still seeing great progress in my legs.

I have been extremely blessed by everything God has done in my life! I would NOT be where I am today had it not been for all of your prayers and support. From the beginning of this injury, I have made up my mind, THAT I WILL WALK AGAIN!! Despite what any doctor or the statistics says, I will OVERCOME this to walk again. I will not lie, it has been a struggle but my goals are in sight. I have been working hard during my rehab, and I am still in need of more return to my legs, but I know it will come. I have prayed for complete healing and complete healing I know I will receive! I have not lost my focus and never thought for one second what my life would be like in a chair. I know that this will be temporary and I will continue to work and pray until my goal are accomplished. God does not know medical statistics, nothing is impossible to God! I ask for everyone to PLEASE keep me in their prayers and continue to ask for complete healing. Pray that my legs will return to me fully, I know it will happen! I have already defied the odds due to your prayers and I know my progress will continue!

Below is a video of my LAST walking session at Shepherds. I was able to walk two full laps around the basketball court without stopping. My progress has been amazing but the BEST IS YET TO COME!! One day, I will walk again and I will be completely restored. BELIEVE IT!! Because I do!! Thank you all for your support and encouragement. I have not been doing this alone and I am forever grateful!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

video

Sunday, September 6, 2009

WALKING FASTER!!

I know these videos are looking redundant and I apologize for that. However, my walking is becoming faster and faster during each of my walking sessions. I am able to cover more ground and increase my distance during each session. Not ALL of my Beyond Therapy regiment has consisted of walking. I work out for 3 hours a day, (3x1 hour sessions) and during each hours session I am doing something different. I have only really posted videos of my walking, because that is what I am most proud of and my therapist always has an aide "helping/watching" during my walking sessions so he is always free to shoot the videos. During my other hours sessions the aides are usually not available so I do not have anyone to shoot the videos.

I am making SO MUCH progress, each week I am constantly encouraged by my gains. God is truly blessing me along this path to recovery. I realize this is going to be a VERY LONG and arduous task but I know I will over come this injury. I have always kept the thought, that I AM GOING TO BEAT THIS THING, IM NOT GOING TO LET IT BEAT ME! My therapy each day is very hard and I am pushed to my limit in each session. At the end of this walking session, I had to have the chair put under me with 5 min to go in the hour, not because I was done, but because I ALMOST PASSED OUT! I am trying to walk further and faster with each and every day. It drains me both mentally and physically, but my strength does not come from myself, but from God who sustains me! If I keep my focus and allow him to work through me, I know that I will walk again one day! He has already showed me so much progress, I will continue to trust in him and we will see this miracle through!

On another note: While online the other day, I was contacted by that girls mother who I had met at shepherds from the random stranger at the concert. All of her family and friends were coming up on Sunday to meet with her and she wanted me to share my story with all of her friends and family. I met them up in the lounge on the 6th floor Sunday afternoon and we talked for a few hours. It was wonderful, to share with all of her friends and family the blessings I had received throughout my recovery and to encourage them and give them HOPE. I remember what it was like to be in her shoes, to hear the grim outlook from the doctors, to hear you will never walk again. I remember how NO ONE had answers for me. All I ever heard was, "NO ONE KNOWS how you will heal, BUT STATISTICALLY SPEAKING BLA BLA BLA"...(that was usually the part where I tuned out my doctors)haha! I want so badly to meet with newly injured patients and tell them, THAT THERE IS HOPE!!! WE CAN WALK AGAIN!! Through a lot of faith, prayers, and hard work we CAN MAKE IT! I hope to make that my mission once I recover from this injury!

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! I COULDN'T have made it this far without all of your help and encouragement! PLEASE KEEP ME IN YOUR PRAYER FOR COMPLETE HEALING, as I KNOW it will come!
GOD BLESS,
I LOVE YOU ALL
Brent


video

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another record breaking week!

Well....AS USUAL, I am a few days late in posting on my blog! haha, Please forgive me, I get pretty busy here in Atlanta, and I try to only post when I have a good video or story to share.

Let me start off my telling you about an AMAZING story that happened to me just this past weekend! God has blessed me so much throughout this journey and part of what I feel is my obligation to share with others my blessings and give hope to those who do not have any. It is AMAZING how God works in our lives.

My brother in law Kyle came down to Atlanta so that we could go to the concert of our favorite band. O.A.R. While at the concert,we sat in the ADA seating for wheelchairs. A young girl saw me in my chair and climbed the railing to come talk to me. She asked if I was going to Shepherds? I said, YES I am there for rehab right now in Beyond Therapy and I am working on walking again. She told me that she was JUST at Shepherds that day visiting her friend! She told me that her best friend was in a bad car accident and is currently an INPATIENT at shepherds, she was injured just under a month ago. After sharing with the girl about my accident and my success she desperately wanted me to talk to her friend. She gave me her name and asked me if I could encourage her cause she is going through a rough time. All the doctors were giving her a very slim chance of walking again, based on the severity of her injury. So yesterday I made my way to the hospital and went into her room. I said, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME, BUT YOUR FRIEND AT THE O.A.R. concert said I had to meet you!?" We talked for about an hour! She was so glad that I came to talk to her and said that, it has changed her outlook on her recovery! She said I gave her HOPE when no one else would. I told the girl, that the secret to recovery is through FAITH and PRAYERS and NO DOCTOR, will EVER write you a script for that! I was so glad that God used me the way he did that day. A stranger at a concert, sitting RIGHT in front of me and had a friend who needed comforting at the Shepherd Center.......YOU TELL ME THAT WASN'T GOD WORKING!!??

Now onto my recent progress in BEYOND THERAPY:

Usually, my therapist is always trying to push me further during EACH new walking session. If I walked 276 feet on day, he wants to to shoot for 300 the next. Constantly upping my distance and endurance. Well, on this walk, I not only beat my previous mark, but I destroyed it! I went an extra half a lap around the basketball court! That may not sound like much, but during my first session several weeks ago, I had to sit down once I reached 20 feet. Now I am taking laps around the basketball court without stopping. I am getting less fatigued and I am pushing myself harder during each session!

Also, I have been working on a machine called "the power tower"! This is kind of like the total gym that you see Chuck Norris promoting on the late night infomercials. You lay on a sled and it has pulleys and cables for you to squat your body weight! My therapist has been feeling my muscles in my quads and hams twitch and quiver as I push through my legs! This is good news, it is showing that I am getting some signals to my muscles, they are weak and can no completely contract the muscle, but they are TRYING TO!! They are twitching and quivering TRYING to turn on!

The video below, may look like the ones that I have posted in the past. WELL...PROBABLY, EXACTLY like them, BUT...what you don't see is that I CRUSHED my old distance record in this walk.

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR ME!!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT


video

Monday, August 17, 2009

SURPRISE FUND RAISER! GOD IS GOOD!

I would probably count this past Saturday as one of the best days I've had in a very long time! God is SO GOOD and he always provides for me! When I set off to come to Atlanta, I knew that insurance was not going to cover my bills and I would have to pay for it out of pocket. My therapy in Atlanta is very expensive and this past weekend God answered my prayers and provided for me as he always does.

Robin Lashley, one of my best friends but the event together. Robin, who I consider one of the biggest spiritual GIANTS in my life, with the help of a few people, put together one of the greatest fund raisers I could have ever imagined. I arrived at the Wekiva River State Park Saturday morning to a mob of people standing in front of a big banner which read: FIRST ANNUAL BRENT ADAMS CHARITY CORN HOLE TOURNAMENT 2009! I was in shock at how many people were there at the gates to welcome me as I drove in! Once I picked my jaw off the floor, my mom reached around and dropped the newspaper in my lap! The headline read, POPULAR OHIO SPORT PLAYED TO HELP FRIEND! As I read the story in the paper, my heart was overwhelmed by the love and support that I have had since my injury!

Robin had gathered many sponsors from around the Orlando area to help donate to my charity. The event consisted of large tents, bbq grills, professional corn hole tournament reps, banners, t-shirts, canoeing, raffle tickets and door prizes. This was a professional charity event, with marketing, advertisement in the paper and other media. There was a LARGE turn out with many people I had never met before, but came just to support me! I doubt very few people has had the opportunity to feel the love that was shown to me that day! It will go down as one of the best memories of my life!

The monies raised on Saturday will go a LONG ways in helping me with my therapy bills in Atlanta. It is very expensive but God always provides a way! Since the beginning of this journey I have been on, I have been amazed at how the doors have opened for me! Every need that I have had has been met and my expectations have been exceeded. God always blesses with abundance and he did for me on Saturday.

I would like to give a SPECIAL THANK YOU: to ROBIN LASHLEY, who organized the charity, and the many company sponsors who gave so generously to help fund the event. I am FOREVER GRATEFUL for everything! God has been blessing me with this amazing miracle of a recovery and is opening the doors to make it EASIER ON ME AND MY FAMILY!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Week 7 In Beyond Therapy!

I would like to start off by apologizing again for the delay in posting. I will try my best to post every Sunday night/ Monday morning, but every once in awhile I cant get caught up on everything and I am a few days behind. But I will try hard to post every week. I have been trying to take new videos of some therapy, but they are walking me ALL THE TIME NOW! I am sorry for the redundant videos, of pretty much the same thing. I walk in almost every therapy session I have now!

You may look at the video in this post and think, I've seen this before, but I am progressing so much more than what you can see. It may be hard for you to tell the difference in my videos, but I am walking further and further in each session. The first time I tried walking, I got about....20 feet, and I WAS DONE! completely exhausted and drenched in sweat. My hands where killing me and my triceps were on fire from squeezing the life out of the walker because i was afraid of falling. Now, I am walking several laps up and down the basketball court, baseline to baseline, with fewer rests and stops. I am getting less fatigued and I am able to push myself further in each session.

My therapists who was assigned to walk with me two days ago for our session had never walked with me before. He told me that he had a preconceived notion with how he would have to walk with me based on my level of injury. He figured he would have to pull my legs forward and manually guide my steps. He also figured he would have to put his shoulder into my backside to keep my hips forward so that I would not FLOP and keep my posture. He told me he was shocked when he saw that I could do all of those things on my own! He said walking with me is easy, because all he has to do is keep contact guard on my knees so that i don't fall down. He told me he was very impressed with what I was able to do on my own!

I have no doubt I will walk again on my own one day! I am getting stronger, but I am still in need of more return in my legs to be completely independent. My quads, and hams are still lagging behind, which is why my therapist are needing to help me on my knees.

I know that this path has been put before me for a reason! But I know I am NOT doing this alone! I have more support than ANYONE I have ever known with an SCI injury! Everyday I am humbled by the love that is shown towards me and my family as I am fighting to recover! It has been my goal from the beginning to show the world, and ALL THE DOUBTERS what is possible through the power of prayer, and the miracles that are possible to those who believe in God! My recovery has not been through anything that I have done, but by God blessing me and granting me this recovery. I take ZERO credit for all my progress! The doctor told me in Arkansas that in order for me to walk again, it would take a miracle! Well....THAT CAN BE DONE! Please continue praying for my total and complete healing! AND HAVE THE FAITH, that it will happen!
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND PRAYERS!
So much in him,
Brent

video

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sorry for the delay! WEEK 6 Beyond Therapy! WOW!

Hey everyone! Im back! I apologize for not posting last week. I left Atlanta to come home to Florida for the week for my brothers wedding. I had a great time back home and was so happy to see my brother marry such an awesome girl in Brooke! I was allowed a week off of beyond therapy to come home for the wedding. As soon as the wedding was over I traveled back up to Atlanta to start therapy the next day!

My first day back from "vacation" I came into the gym and the very first thing my therapist said was, "Brent, meet me outside in the gym, we are walking!" I spent my very first hour back in therapy walking (video below). This is only my second time ever walking without braces (the first time was the day I left for Florida which u saw in the previous post). Last week I walked every day for one of my sessions in Beyond Therapy! I am slowly getting better at my walking! The secret is getting my technique down and not trying to rush everything. My very first time back my triceps and hands were KILLING me from putting so much weight through my arms. By the end of the week, I was putting less and less pressure through my arms and walking became MUCH easier!

I am still lacking crucial muscles return in parts of my legs to allow me to walk completely unassisted. My progress is more than ANYONE could have ever imagined, but im still not out of the woods yet! My therapy is going to be long and tedious for years to come! But one thing I can promise you..I WILL NEVER GIVE UP!! No matter how long it takes or what I have to go through, I will not STOP until I walk again! I will never settle for a wheelchair, I will overcome this! I must lean on my faith and on the prayers of everyone for God to give me the healing as only he can do! Doctors have done all they can do for me! My recovery is now in God's hands! He is the only one who can give more return to my legs and I have FAITH WITHOUT DOUBT that it will be done! Please continue to pray for more healing. My requests stay the same and will remain constant until i walk again! DONT GIVE UP ON ME! KEEP THE FAITH!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM!
BRENT

video

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Week 5 complete! KEEP PRAYING FOR COMPLETE HEALING!

What another amazing week at the Shepherd Center! I am making great progress and the therapists continue to encourage me! I am still lacking some return which is making it difficult to walk completely unassisted. I am still praying for more strength in my knees and quads. I need to be able to stand without grabbing anything and using all of my quads and gluts! BUT ITS COMING!!!

I am so encouraged by my recent progress that I have made at the Shepherd Center and I am SO BLESSED by the recovery that the Lord has given me! Everyday I look around the Beyond Therapy gym and I see so many people who are less fortunate than I am. I thank God everyday that my injury was not as bad as it could have been! Its a miracle that my neck was not broken and I am not breathing from a machine and driving a wheelchair with a straw. I could have broken my neck so easily but I was spared and I am forever grateful for that.

This week in rehab, I worked with one of my favorite therapist: GUSTAVO or "GUS"! He is from Costa Rica and has been such an encouragement to me! Every time I work with him he praises my progress and makes me feel great about myself. Just the other day, he told me: "Brent, don't get down on yourself and your progress, I have been doing this for a long time and what you are able to do with your hips and your core strength to extend your legs is AMAZING!" He went onto tell me how he believes that God is in total control of my life. He told me that if it is God's will than I WILL WALK AGAIN...NO QUESTION.

I always get so much encouragement from my therapists who are always rooting me on and cheering for me during rehab. I am so blessed to be at such an awesome rehab center.

BELOW IS THE MOMENT YOU ALL HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR: DRUM ROLL PLEASE!! haha This was something that I have never done until coming to Shepherds. I am walking without braces, only an A.F.O. which is an ankle support and some assistance from my therapist. Gustavo is working with me on the video below on my walking...yes...ON MY WALKING!! He is using his hands to help support my knees a little so that they do not buckle but is allowing me to bend it and pull my leg through and then straighten it in a natural walking pattern! I am actually taking steps on my own! I pulling my leg through an straightening it, but my knees are not strong enough for my therapist to walk away completely. So enjoy this video that was shot last Thursday. I actually walked 2 laps of a basketball court, on my trip back up the court my walking was MUCH better but we didn;t film it.. haha SORRY GUYS!
You are watching FAITH and PRAYERS in ACTION!! Below is just an testament to the AWESOME POWER OF GOD!! If we believe in our hearts WITHOUT DOUBT....ANYTHING is possible!! Mark 11:22-24 and James 1:6 (two of my favorite verses)
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT
PLEASE, PLEASE NEVER STOP PRAYING!

video

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week 4 in the Books!! IM LOVING IT!

Well, week 4 has been completed and I am currently into my 5th week in Beyond Therapy. As the weeks move along it appears that they are increasing the intensity of my workout sessions. They are pushing me further and further trying to get the most out of the return in my legs. So far my therapy has consisted of a lot of core stability and strengthening which I will need first and foremost. Im still needing return to come back so that they can really focus on certain muscle groups.

I have seen a lot of recovery in my body. Its hard to explain to people the differences I am feeling. People need to see certain movements to understand that I am making improvements. My legs however are continually changing on me! It feels almost like every week I am regaining new sensations in my legs. My legs have become more sensitive and I am getting new feelings running throughout my body. I know that changes are coming I CAN FEEL THEM! Most of my gains in therapy so far has come in my strength. The movements that I could do in the past are much stronger and the therapists remain encouraged.

It was explained to me by one of my therapists that no one understands my body like I do. He told me that the therapists still have not fulling come to understand my body and my capabilities. I am still rather new to the program and they need time to evaluate me. They are not ruling out any possibilities to my recovery. Everyone is different they explained to me! Some people regain function quicker than other and some never regain function at all. However, I KNOW SOMETHING THEY DONT! I know without doubt or question that my body will be restored through the power of prayer. I do not believe I was brought this far without a master plan. I have seen so many miracles in my recovery thus far and I am sure there are still more to come!

My recovery is not going to be measured in weeks or months but YEARS! It is a long and slow process. I am not in a sprint but a marathon. I must keep actively working my legs and rebuilding my neuro connections. I have seen so many amazing stories of success here at Shepherds. I have heard of people regaining function many YEARS out from their injury! I have seen people walking the gym, people who had NO RETURN 1.5 yrs out from injury as I am now. They are 5-10 years out and are able to walk unassisted and with great ease...JUST LIKE BEFORE their injury! I know that will be ME ONE DAY!!

Below is another video I took during my therapy last week. This video was shot on the same day as the previous post. I am working in the Smith Machine, which is just a fancy name for the Squat Rack. I am doing tall kneeling and working on movement in my hip flexors. As you can tell I am able to pull my leg through on the mat. This is using my hips and pelvis, MOVEMENT I SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO DO FOR MY LEVEL OF INJURY....BUT I AM!!! I hope you enjoy these videos, I will try to keep posting more. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR ME DAILY!! I want to recover from this injury SO BADLY!!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!!


video

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Week 3 Beyond Therapy.....its coming guys!!

Well I have successfully finished my 3rd week of Beyond Therapy and I am now into my 4th week here and I am continually seeing improvements. I am sorry for the delay in getting this posted but I wanted to wait until I had a good video to post!

What an AMAZING week I had. On Tuesday, I did probably one of the hardest session I had ever had since coming to Beyond Therapy. I was doing the TRX therapy which consisted of me doing a variety of core and leg strengthening. (I will post a video of this in the coming weeks). I hit the proverbial wall and could NOT go any further. I was laying on my stomach exhausted, covered in sweat and completely worn out when I heard a voice say..."GOOD JOB, you are making great progress!" I looked up to see JAMES SHEPHERD cheering me on. James is the founder of the Shepherd Center. He was injured in the mid 1970's with a spinal cord injury. Being how there were NO rehab facility with specialized treatment in spinal cord injuries in the southeast his parents Alana and Harold founded the Shepherd Center. They built the center so that their son could get the treatment he needed. Today it has grown to be the biggest specialized rehabilitation center in the country. James is currently the chairman of the board of directors at the Center.

He and I talked for quit some time as I laid on the mat exhausted and out of breath.
I thanked him for a particular article he wrote in the Shepherd Center quarterly magazine they publish. The day before meeting James, I had picked up the magazine and read the forward he had written. The article was about having FAITH during one's rehab. James who is a great man of faith and a true man of God. Wrote how he has seen that a personal relationship with God and having a deep faith in him has significantly helped those who are recovering from such a traumatic injury. (I will have to do a special post with his exact words from his forward in the magazine)!

I thanked James for those inspiring words and told him how I TOO believe the same thing. I told him it is my FAITH that has carried me through this difficult time. He said, "Brent sometimes its hard for people to talk about their faith, but we need to do it...that's why I wrote that article." What an amazing start to a wonderful week!

Below I posted a video on one of my new favorite machines. THE WAVE!! This machine is amazing and it makes my legs feel so good. How it works is it sends very high frequency vibrations through your feet and into your muscles. As I am on the machine I feel like my teeth are constantly chattering as my entire body begins to vibrate. The machine sends very high intensity vibrations throughout the body which helps recruit the muscles to turn on. I have spent a couple of hours on this machine and only filmed 1 of probably 10 different exercises I did on this unit. Below we are working on my knee extension and straightening the knees out and locking them. It was a GREAT SESSION! I will post more videos in the weeks to come so everyone can see my progress!!....PLEASE PLEASE NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR ME! Pray for TOTAL and COMPLETE HEALING!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

video

Friday, June 26, 2009

Week 2 Beyond Therapy!

Well,I have successfully finished my second week of Beyond Therapy and BOY AM I SORE!! I have never been this sore in my life! I am working harder than ever before and I am seeing some pay offs for all of my hard work. God has truly blessed me in providing the opportunity to come to a place like Shepherds and work to regain my ability to walk! The therapists here at Shepherds are WONDERFUL and I have made so many great new friends and caught up with old friends throughout first two weeks!

This week, we worked a lot on my core strength and helping my balance when I am standing. I did repetitive exercises in the standing position of: straightening my legs, extending my leg forward, straightening the knee, breaking the knee and pulling it back under my body. I did this exercise almost everyday while also working on my standing balance. We did hip exercises where I would move them in order to do weigh shifts to help in my walking motion.

On Wednesday, I was very fortunate to have my Aunt and Uncle from Alabama drive down for the day to visit me. It was SO GREAT to see both of them and I especially enjoyed showing off for them in therapy. They got to the center just as I was fixing to start my pool therapy session. This was my very first session in the pool and I must say, IT WAS MY FAVORITE! The therapist couldn't stop talking about how much progress I had made since my stay there in October. I walked several laps in the pool and did various underwater movements with resistance and did INCREDIBLY WELL! I was so glad my aunt and uncle where there to see it and LOVED seeing them. We laughed the entire afternoon!

On Friday we worked on my standing as well. The video below was taken this past Friday. This was just one of several exercises we did in this standing position. I stood there for AN HOUR doing various exercises working on my hips and leg movements. The video below was not even the most impressive exercises but it was the only one my therapist shot. I needed to focus and not worry about being a movie star apparently!

God has blessed me SO VERY MUCH during this past year on my recovery! I HOPE AND PRAY that the Lord will use me and this injury to bring others closer to him! He is doing an AMAZING thing in my body and performing miracles DAILY! Please keep me in front of God and pray that I will recover SOON!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!


video

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What an AMAZING First Week!!

Well, I have officially finished my 1st week of Beyond Therapy! Let me just say, that it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life! I am use to conditioning for sports or working out in a gym from time to time, but NOTHING compares to the physical exhaustion I feel after one session! Well let me just start off by telling you about my week.

Tuesday: This was my first day in therapy and it was pretty much just an evaluation and testing. I met with a Physical Therapist for an hour as we discussed my goals and also my injury. We talked about what to expect out of the program and what they would be doing to me in therapy. Next she did some tests on me, just testing my movements. Again, she thought I was a TRICKY SUBJECT! All my therapists say the same thing. It is so hard to get a read on your muscles, I am able to move my body and legs great, but she has a hard time feeling the muscle palpitate? Its like Im moving my legs but she doesn't know exactly how Im able to do it? Next, I did something I had NEVER done before, she got help from another therapist and i stood up in my walker and with the therapist behind me on a rolling stool to help assist my knees I STARTED TAKING STEPS!! WITHOUT BRACES!! the therapist was there to help assist my knees as I was walking so it wasn't totally unassisted but I was taking the steps! We went out to the gym and the therapist grabbed a video camera and filmed me. I WALKED TO THE HALF COURT LINE! with just a therapist following behind me on a rolling stool assisting just my knees.

On Wednesday: I worked with a therapist named Josh, who was HARD! He worked me harder than ever before on this day! He had me on the floor doing pushups (which i got 29) he had me on my stomach doing all kinds of intense floor exercises. My abs and arms were on FIRE!!
Next he put me in a walker called an ARJO! I put my forarms on a stand and he pumps me up to where i am standing. (see figure below)


The figure above is exactly what I was in! Once in the ARJO walker I worked on supporting my weight on my own legs. I would bend my knees and work on straightening them back out again. I then started taking STEPS in the walker! I was walking around the gym, (my forearms where supporting my weight so not all the weight was going through my legs) but I started taking steps and walking around the gym a little.

On Friday:
I got on a spin bike! The same type of bikes the gyms have spin classes on for intense cardio exercise. (see figure below)

Once they got me on the bike which is not powered by anything! I was able to pedal the bike by myself! The therapists got me started a little but once they did, I would pedal for 5-10 min at a time. They would then speed up the bike real quick with there hands on the pedals and then I had to maintain that speed for an entire minute WHICH I DID!! I could speed the bike up at will! After an hour on the bike I did lots of core strengthening which WORE me out again!

I will post videos next week of all of my progress! I meant to do it this week, but didnt know if I would be allowed to shoot videos. I asked my therapists and they said I could if only it was done in a certain way and no other patients were filmed HIPPA REGULATIONS. I also needed to tell them ahead of time, cause they want me totally focused on my therapy! But next week I will shoot some videos!

I have found a video on youtube on Beyond Therapy. This will give everyone an idea of what I am going through and what the program is about. Every therapist on the film are my actual therapist today! Josh who you will see in the video works me harder and pushes me more than ever before! I LIKE HIM ALREADY! Candy is my Physical Therapist and I have various other therapists and trainers throughout the day who help me and push me to my limits! Watch the video and you can get a better understanding of what I go through everyday, and how this therapy is suppose to help rebuild my neuro pathways!

(copy and paste the URL below to your browser)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzifRIvWnCI

PLEASE PRAY FOR MY TOTAL AND COMPLETE HEALING!!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Sunday, June 14, 2009

IM IN ATLANTA!! I have a big week ahead of me!

Yesterday morning my family and I drove up to Atlanta where we got settled into my new apartment. My apartment is extremely nice, and directly across from the center which is the BIGGEST PLUS. The apartment isn't completely wheelchair accessible, but it will work out just fine. The best thing about the apartment is how close it is to the center. I will be able to take myself to therapy and come home on my own, saving my mom from driving through the horrible Atlanta traffic. My therapy will begin on Tuesday at 1:00pm-5:00pm. My first day will just be an evaluation. They will test my legs and find out a course of action to take on my therapy. My first ACTUAL day begins on Wed and then again on Friday. The next week we start the all out therapy sessions! I cant wait to get started!! I will do my best to post a little more frequently as my therapy progress to keep everyone informed on my progress. I will also try to post more videos so everyone can see my therapy 1st hand! SO STAY TUNED. I am sure my next several posts will be the most exciting yet!

I have been so blessed with my recovery thus far! I give ALL the glory and honor to God for my progress and will continue to give him all the praise for each and every gain I make. This journey I am on is all for his glory so that he will be praised through my trials. With each and every blood, sweat and tears that I will shed throughout the next few months will all be for his glory (hopefully there wont be to much blood involved) But maybe? who knows what they will make me do in therapy!

Each day I am blown away by the course my life has taken since this accident and I am reminded daily just how blessed I am! The doors that have opened for me and my recovery has been a miracle! I encourage everyone out there who has doubts to what an awesome God I serve to just watch my videos and hear my story! I was given NO HOPE, I was told it couldn't be done with my level of injury but I am defying the odds and I am rewriting the medical books! I have always known that I would walk again and I tell people that without the slightest hesitation of speaking TOO SOON! I simply JUST KNOW IT! its just a matter of time! You see....I have to believe and I CAN NOT DOUBT! This miracle will come to fruition in time, through faith and prayer! Thank you all for following this blog and please share it with others. It is my journal of thoughts, and my ministry to others, just until I can get out and tell my story IN PERSON more! Please pray for my continued recovery. Pray for total and complete healing!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT.
P.S. Many of you have asked what my address is in Atlanta so here it is: I am staying at the WESTCHESTER AT PEACHTREE VALLEY APARTMENTS!

40 Peachtree Valley Rd NE
Apt# 1531
Atlanta, Ga 30309

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Last Week in Florida! Shepherds here I come!

Well this is my last week in Florida. On Saturday June 13th I will be driving to Atlanta, Georgia where I will be for the next two months. I have been so blessed with all the doors that have been opened for me to make this possible. I am excited about the upcoming trip and I can not wait to see the results from my hard work and therapy. My family and I have rented an apartment that has just opened up DIRECTLY across from the Shepherd Center. This will be the best scenario because I will be able to take myself to rehab everyday without my mom having to drive through the crazy Atlanta traffic. (I will post my address once I arrive next week!) I am amazed at how the doors have opened for me to be accepted into this program.

Many of you have asked questions about what "IS" Beyond Therapy? I have posted a link to the Shepherds website below on Beyond Therapy so that you can read all about it. There are three different programs you can be apart of in therapy. I am going to be apart of the Physical Enhancement Program, and the Experimental Protocol Program. Read through the site and you can get a better understanding of the program (AND YES IT WILL BE HARD AS IT SOUNDS!)
www.shepherd.org/patcare/spec/beyond.asp

I have a video camera that my family has purchased to take to Shepherds so that I can film some of my sessions. I want everyone to be apart of my recovery so that you can see what I am doing everyday. This way, you can know EXACTLY what to pray for during my therapy! Please pray extra hard for me during my time at Shepherds, this is a GREAT opportunity and I want to get the most out of it!

The other day I came across another wonderful website I would like everyone to browse. Shepherd Center has a site called ShepherdTV.org and it shows video clips of the center and success stories of some of the patients at the center and in Beyond Therapy. I have browsed through this site several times but if you are curious as to the care I will be receiving take a minute and browse this site. Click on the SPINAL CORD INJURY PROGRAM and the STORIES OF HOPE! Many of the people in this video are friends of mine who I had met during my stay as a day patient back in October. This video allows everyone to see the center and the awesome facilities they have at the Shepherd Center. MY GOAL IS TO BE ONE OF THE STORIES OF HOPE!! In time I know I will be one of the success stories of hope! This is a great site and I encourage everyone to take the time to look through spinal injury program and stories of hope sections.

www.shepherdtv.org

Finally, I have posted yet ANOTHER video of my progress!! A few weeks ago FOR THE FIRST TIME, I was able to extend my legs at the knees! I can do leg extensions now, which means I have regained some of my quad muscles in my legs. PLEASE PLEASE continue to pray for me! Without your prayers none of this would be possible! Pray that I make considerable progress during my time at Shepherds and pray for TOTAL AND COMPLETE HEALING! I know this blog post has A LOT of videos and websites but this will give you a better understanding of my time away!! I WILL WALK AGAIN!! Never give up on me and NEVER STOP BELIEVING! Miracles DO HAPPEN and they ARE happening with me today!
GOD BLESS
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT


video

Friday, May 29, 2009

STANDING ON MY OWN!

What an amazing week I have had in therapy! A few days ago, I stood up (on my own) for my first time since my accident. I still have a long ways to go but my progress is amazing. My legs are still very weak but they are being healed by the power of God through all of your prayers! If you pray for me on a regular basis and pray to God for my recovery then you can watch the video below as proof that prayer works! You can see with your own two eyes, that nothing is impossible! I was told in the beginning that recovery from the severity of my injury would not be possible. Well, apparently my Doctors didn't ask God if it was possible, they just looked at their statistics!

Please understand that I am no where near out of the woods yet! My recovery is still going to be a long, and hard road. This injury is hard on my family as well as myself. This injury and my recovery has taken a lot from my family. Both time and financially we have had to make sacrifices to give me the best rehab in the country. I am forever grateful for my family and the sacrifices that everyone has made to see this miracle through. Please pray for my entire family as we leave in just two weeks and move to Atlanta for a couple months of therapy (June 13th I will be leaving.)

I am so extremely blessed with such a wonderful Christian family. From the minute I got news of my acceptance into the Beyond Therapy Program my Christian family went to work for me helping me find a place to stay. I have never seen networking quit like when you put my church family and parents small group to the task! It was unbelievable how the word has spread. I doubt there is not one single church in all of Georgia that does not know I am coming to Atlanta! haha! I THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

Now for the moment everyone has been waiting for.....drum roll please!! haha The video below is of me standing up on my own. (im still working on the whole balance thing) but its coming! Please continue praying for me! Pray for my total recovery and with Gods help we will see that miracle happen!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM
BRENT!

video

Monday, May 25, 2009

Some Exciting News! I STOOD UP!

Yes, you heard correctly from the subject above. The other night in therapy, I was able to stand up out of my chair. My therapists who comes to my house decided to work on my (sit to stand) ability. We have worked on the before, but in the past my dad, or therapists husband, Jim had to help me up my lifting on my gate belt around my waist. We tried to do it this time, without braces and by just holding onto my dad and jim's hands. When we counted to three I PUSHED through my feet and by pushing a little into the hands of my dad and Jim I was able to stand up. Once I was up my dad said that I was not pushing through his hands hardly at all. He said that most of the effort came from me pushing through my feet. I was shocked at how quickly I shot up and thought for sure that I was being helped up BUT I WASN'T being helped at all. I needed proof of this on my own so I told everyone to back away. I wanted everyone several feet away from me with NO ONE TOUCHING ME! They put the walker in front of me on my mat and on the count of three I SHOT UP into the standing position with very little push through my hands. I STOOD UP!! Everyone in the room was excited and could hardly believe it. This was the first time I have stood up on my own.

In the past my dad and brother would say that I was helping them when I pushed through my feet to get into the truck. They would say that it was a lot easier for them to lift me up and I was helping stand myself up. Although they said that often I did not know the percentage of help I was giving! Was it 5%? was I helping them 10%? I thought my brother and father would just muscle me up into the truck but I didn't know how much I was helping. Well THIS WEEK I found out that I am helping A TON! I was able to stand up on my feet with NO ONE touching me! Once I was up my father had to help brace my knees with his hands because I could not completely support my weight yet but WHAT A MIRACLE FROM GOD!! I would have never thought that I would be this far along in such a short time. Your prayers are working! I am excited about my therapy at Shepherds and can not wait to see the progress I will make there! Please continue to pray for me, pray for more miracles! I WILL WALK AGAIN!! we must have faith and believe!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some Great Rehab Options and my Atlanta trip!

Its another week and yet another blog post. There is a lot going on with me in the next few weeks as I prepare for my trip to Atlanta. We are currently still looking for an apartment or place to stay near the Shepherd Center. I would like to find an apartment or hotel that is right near the center where I could actually push myself there everyday. This limits my choices as there are only so many places near the center that would have the accommodations I would need for only a few months. Once we get the apartment or hotel figured out I will be focusing all my efforts on getting prepared for my move. I hope to be there for probably two months depending on money and my progress. How it was explained to me is that you pay for the rehab upfront,for the therapy. The therapists will continue working on you until they see a plateau in your progress. They will then send you home until you regain more movement. You will then go back into rehab for them to facilitate more return. This will be the first therapy where they will focus solely on my walking. On my previous trips to rehab they taught me life skills and worked a little on my legs using the locomat and various other equipment. I AM PUMPED AND READY TO GO!!!

I have some more EXCITING news! I have been looking for a rehab facility close to my house where they focus on spinal cord injuries. Several states have these centers that specialize in SCI injures but NONE were in Florida. A great center I have looked at in the past was called PROJECT WALK but it was in California. Project Walk worked on physical activity to rebuild neuro pathways which many doctors believe is the key to recovery. Today I found out that Project Walk has built a SISTER facility in SANFORD, FLORIDA! A lady who lives in Orlando had a daughter who suffered a spinal cord injury in April of 2007 about two years ago. She ran into the same problem we had which was finding a rehab facility close by that focuses on SCI injuries. Her daughter went to Shepherds in Atlanta and California for Project Walk for therapy but it put a huge burden on their family. Her mom decided to partner with Project Walk and build a recovery center in Sanford, Florida. The center is called STEP IT UP and follows the model of PROJECT WALK. The center has JUST opened this month and has started taking patients a few weeks ago. My mom and I are going there on Thursday to check out the new facility. I hope to workout there after I return from Shepherds. The Shepherd Center will be using state of the art therapies and equipment which is why the therapy is considered experimental. I am excited about both opportunities. PLEASE PRAY THAT BOTH WILL WORK OUT!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
SO MUCH IN HIM
BRENT

Friday, May 8, 2009

GOOD NEWS!!!! ANOTHER MIRACLE!!

I am writing you with a grin from ear to ear! What an amazing God we serve! I am going to share with everyone an amazing miracle that happened a few days ago.

As most of you know I have been rejected from almost every clinical trial due to my level of injury. Scientist and doctors do not know as much about the recovery of the spinal cord at my LOWER level. On Monday, I was very depressed and down in the dumps about how nothing is going my way. I am making so much progress and my legs are continually getting stronger with my PT at home. However, NO ONE will help me get over the hump and take me on with research and advanced therapies. I wrote my last blog post, venting about my frustrations with being rejected.

Back in October while at the Shepherd Center I signed up for Beyond Therapy, which is an experimental research program. At Beyond Therapy they use very intense therapies and physical activity to retrain the muscles and rebuild neuro pathways past the injury point. They have had amazing results from this experimental rehab and many top spinal cord doctors believe that physical activity is the KEY to recovery! When I signed up I was put on a LONG waiting list. I started about 60th on the waiting list with ON AVERAGE 2 or 3 patients being taken off the list each month! It was going to be FOREVER until I could get into this program.

On Monday, after writing my blog and being depressed about my current situation I went to bed praying to God for an answer. I prayed and prayed asking God to open doors for me in regards to my rehab. THE VERY NEXT MORNING, my mom came into my room and woke me up. She said "brent, someone is on the phone for you!" and handed me the phone! It was the director of the Beyond Therapy Program at Shepherds. She told me that one of the patients on the waiting list had to cancel and the time slot for admission on JUNE 16th is available! She said there are 42 other people ahead of me on the list but she would do me this favor and bump me up on the list, if I could make the move to Atlanta to fill the spot! YES...YOU HEARD ME CORRECTLY!! THE VERY NEXT MORNING GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYER!! I prayed myself to sleep, and woke up with God answering my prayer! Someone "HAPPENED" to cancel, and the director just HAPPENED to do me this "FAVOR"! I think there is a greater person behind these coincidences. NO....GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYER!! PRAISE GOD!!

On June 16th I will be moving to Atlanta to start BEYOND THERAPY!! We are all so excited, but at the same time we have A LOT on our plates. We are responsible for finding an apartment or hotel to stay in for the next few months. We have a lot of expenses and deadlines we have to meet at home before making the move. I ask for everyone to PLEASE keep me in your prayers. Pray this therapy will be effective and I will get a lot of benefit from my time in Atlanta. God opened this door to me for a REASON! Thank you all for your continued love and support!!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Monday, May 4, 2009

Clinical Trial Set Backs!

As most of you know I have been looking to participate in as many clinical trials as possible. Being apart of a clinical trial means that I will get the best in therapies at minimal to no cost. Hospitals and rehab centers like Shepherds and others across the country receives grants for research. That means that the studies are paid for and volunteers are needed for the research. People must apply and meet the criteria to be accepted into the programs. I have applied for numerous clinical trials and have been rejected on almost all of them.

The reason for my denial into these programs is because of my level of injury. My break occurred at the T11/T12 level of my spinal cord. At that level it is where the peripheral nerves branch out into the rest of my legs. Anything BELOW the T-10 level is not considered part of the central nervous system but the peripheral nervous system. At the T-10 level which is just ONE level above my injury is where the cord becomes a single cord and runs up to the brain. People with a T-10 and above is who ALL of the clinical trials are being tested on at this time.

I spoke with Dr. Wise Young who is the foremost authority on spinal cords in the US and in China. I asked if I could be apart of his clinical trials on some new and radical things that are coming up the pipeline on spinal cord recovery. He was very nice to me and told me to check in on several institutions who will be seeing out his studies. However, I told him I was a T11/12 lower motor neuron legion and he said that his study was for T-10 and above. ITS THE SAME STORY!!

I tried for the Action Clinical Trial at Shepherds, which would give me Beyond Therapy for 6 months FOR FREE and I was denied based on my level of injury! I am getting very frustrated at the lack of studies for people with my levels of injury. I am making progress and I see things changing all the time, but NO ONE will take me on and get me over the hump. Its aggravating to say the least. I feel like I could make HUGE gains if I had the equipment to increase my therapies. My PT who comes to my house has made more gains than I could EVER IMAGINE! However, I still need rehab and equipment (like the locomat) to get the most out of my recovery. PLEASE, PLEASE continue to pray for my recovery. I WILL WALK AGAIN, but these hang ups in my recovery are aggravating. I need prayers that I will make the right decisions in my future therapy. I also need prayers that I will be accepted into these programs. Being apart of clinical trials will also help me save money which I am having to watch closely for all my medical expenses. PLEASE NEVER GIVE UP ON MY RECOVERY! PLEASE KEEP ME IN FRONT OF GOD! I will glorify him, through all of my progress!
THANK YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

Monday, April 27, 2009

PRAISE GOD IN ALL THINGS!!

I wanted to spend my time on this post to share with everyone not only my current progress but to show others that with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! I am so very fortunate to have the support that I have gotten since this injury. I have been to rehab centers and seen people with catastrophic injuries but they are forced to go through it alone. God has provided for me from day 1. Looking back on where I have come from to where I am now is a testament to the power of God!

My recovery has not been a coincidence, it is not by fate that I have recovered this far, but solely due to God working miracles in my life. From the day I was told id never walk again, I knew that a higher power had to intervene. I prayed a prayer that night in the hospital like I had NEVER prayed before. For an hour straight I made a heartfelt plea for God to bring me out of this ordeal. I wanted to be whole again, and not for one second doubt or limit his power. What an answer he gave me!! I am so blessed to have come this far but know that my recovery is just beginning! I will be doing therapy for YEARS but have NO DOUBT in my mind that I will walk again one day!

As far as my recovery goes, I have good news. These past few weeks I have been able to move my legs even more. Remember when I asked for prayers for my knees to return to me. WELL......slowly but surely they are coming back. I am able to know kick my legs out AT THE KNEES from a sitting position. During my pool therapy I did 25 reps of both legs underwater kicking my legs out and pulling them back down. PRAISE GOD!!! Although I still have more recovery to do in my legs, ITS A START!! Please continue your prayers for more recovery.

My dad bought a video camera this afternoon for me to use in my therapy sessions. I hope to most more videos to my blog in the weeks to come! So please keep following my progress, and i will share with everyone the Power of God, and you will see miracles IN ACTION!!
NEVER STOP BELIEVING, NEVER STOP PRAYING, NEVER LOOSE FAITH!

Mark 11:22-24
So Much In Him,
BRENT