Friday, January 30, 2009


Today I received some very disappointing news. I DID NOT GET ACCEPTED INTO THE ACTION CLINICAL TRIAL AT SHEPHERDS! The lady who called me today to recruit me for the trial said that she knew I was looking forward to being apart of the study. She asked if I could answer a few questions for her and if I checked out, she would have me come to Shepherds to be evaluated. I was excited and told her how much I had been waiting for this phone call. The first 5 questions I checked out perfectly! Then she asked me if I was a LOWER or HIGHER MOTOR NEURON INJURY! I said LOWER, and then came the news! My heart sunk when she said that to be apart of the study you had to be a HIGHER MOTOR NEURON INJURY!

LET ME EXPLAIN: (sorry if I loose you)
The spinal cord ends at the bottom of the Thoracic Spinal Levels (the T level). At the end of the spinal cord there is what is called the ancona aquida nerves which comes out at the bottom of the cord like a "horses tail" The nerves spread throughout the legs and hips and all the way through your legs.
In order for your legs to respond to electrical stimulus the signal must travel up the ancona aquida nerves and into the spinal cord. The signal then travels UP the spinal cord to the injury level which then causes a REFLEX ARCH. The arch travels back down to the legs and CONTRACTS THE MUSCLE! In order for a reflex arch to occur the signal MUST travel up the spinal cord. My injury happened RIGHT AT THAT POINT where the ancona aquida meet up with the spinal cord. Thus the signal never can reach the actual spinal cord to cause a reflex arch...THUS...MY LEGS DONT RESPOND TO ELECTRICAL STIMULUS! SORRY IF I LOST YOU!

The research was going to work heavily on electrical stimulus to contract my muscles, since my body doesn't respond to the electrical pulses because of WHERE my cord was damaged it excluded me from the research!
I told the Doctor the movement I had gotten back already and all the gains that I have made. She told me that it was WONDERFUL! If I got so much back in my legs I could expect to even get MORE in time!! Just because I am a LOWER motor neuron injury does NOT have any effect WHATS SO EVER on the amount of return i can expect. All it means was that my spinal cord was injured at the ONE POINT that would exclude me from the trials! MY HOPES WERE DASHED!!! I tried everything to persuade her to let me in the trial. She told me she would go to bat for me and try everything to get me in but based upon one of the major criteria I could not be excepted. She said that she would make sure my name got put high on the list of any other trials they have coming up in which I would make a candidate for in the future.
I guess God was just telling me this was not the clinical trial for me! I will keep working hard EVERYDAY and I will never give up. If anyone of you hear of new trials and studies I could be apart of please let me know! HAHA! Ill do just about anything! Thank you SO MUCH for your continued prayers and support! This is just a minor set back! I will overcome this and I will walk again "IN TIME!" I just have to be patient and work as hard as I can in the mean time. When a trial comes my way that would better help me I am sure I will be accepted! PLEASE PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR ME!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Tonight's post is going to be one of the best yet! The Lord has blessed my recovery and has opened numerous doors for me. Yesterday, another door opened for me which has been what I have been waiting/praying for since my accident.

As most of you know I signed up for the BEYOND THERAPY program at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. This is a very intense physical therapy which focuses on neurological return in your body. Their FOCUS is to help people walk again!! I signed up months ago and I am currently 60th on the waiting list. I was expected to enter the program in about 6-8 months.

I received an email two days ago (which I almost erased because it was in my SPAM folder). I saw the address was from Shepherd so I opened it up. I received some of the greatest news!! The Shepherd Center has received a grant to start a research project called ACTIVE CLINICAL TRAIL. The study is similar to BEYOND THERAPY. However, due to the grant and the extent of the research Shepherd is having to hire more physical therapists. This is a 24 week (6 month) research study on activity based exercises to increase neurological recovery in spinal cord victims. The criteria to be excepted into the program is that you must be an INCOMPLETE injury, at least one year out from your injury, and either an ASIA C or D. You can also not have any other medical problems. I was so excited that I immediately wrote an email to the Doctor running the study expressing my desire to be apart of this study.

This morning I received a call from the doctor. He filled me in on what the study consisted of and explained how it worked. The study was the same as BEYOND THERAPY only it was research. However, since it is research my progress will be documented to prove how activity based exercise works in spinal cord injuries. THIS WAS THE CLINICAL TRIAL FOR ME! Not only would I be going through the same physical regiment as Beyond Therapy, but I would be getting it for 6 months!! The doctor said that from what I told him in my email and on the phone I would make a great candidate for the study. He would put a note down for the people recruiting for the study to highly consider me. If I get excepted I will be moving to Atlanta for 6 months to undergo intense therapy which will FOCUS on helping me walk again!!

Doctor McDonald (personal doctor to Christopher Reeves and one of the leading doctors on spinal cord injuries) has said that from his studies the most return he has seen in SCI (SPINAL CORD INJURY) victims has come from activity based therapy. Athletes who continue to work hard and exercise get the most return. This is the bases of which I will be working for when/if I am able to get into the research study at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

Being a part of this study is going to put a HUGE strain on my family. I will have to be moving away for 6 months. I will have to get an apartment, and take care of a million other smaller details in order to get closer to my goal of WALKING AGAIN!!

I ask everyone to PLEASE PLEASE PRAY for me to get into this program! I am not guaranteed to get in but from the outlook I have a good chance. I need the prayers of everyone that the doctors will accept me into the program so that I can get closer to my ultimate goal! I WANT SO BADLY TO WALK AGAIN! God has blessed me so much and my recovery is all because of him! He has seen me so far and has allowed me to overcome the impossible. Every gain I make is due solely to glorify God and to show the world his awesome power!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Well on January 17th. I turned the big 27! I KNOW IM OLD!! My birthday was a lot better than last years. I spent last years birthday in a hospital room after being transferred from my acute care in the ICU at UAMS hospital. This year, I was able to take my therapists out to dinner to celebrate with me at my favorite restaurant (BONEFISH) I also enjoyed a couple of Cake and ice cream gatherings! I know they say you can't tell what you wish for when you blow the candles out....but...ill let you guys in on my wish! I wish that this year will bring even more blessings and miracles in my legs! I know that wishing on a cake is nothing but superstitious, but with PRAYER and PETITION, I know my dream will become a reality.

I am coming to you with GREAT news! As of last week the CHRISTOPHER AND DANA REEVES ACT passed through congress! This ACT will allow funding to open up on Paralysis research! After talking to several friends who are connected into the latest advancements in therapies and research we are confident that 2009 will see a lot of BREAK THROUGH's in spinal cord research! I was told that if i were to ever have this injury this was the best time due to all the advancements that are being made in the medical field on paralysis. I am confident that we will see a cure within my lifetime. Doctors have already regenerated nerve cells within a spinal cord and have regained more function within people. IT CAN HAPPEN!! Unfortunately funding for research has not allowed scientist to further their studies as much as they would like.
(copy and paste this link to watch some exciting advancements that are being made by Dr Steven Davies in Denver!)

The following video was made several months ago! With the Christopher and Dana Reeves Act passing congress the scientist will get the funding they need to progress in the studies!

I am so blessed to have the support of so many friends and family! God is so amazing he leaves me speechless at times....(I KNOW THATS A BIG TASK!) I look at how he has blessed my life and I am so grateful to call myself a christian! We all have a story to tell....BOY, WILL I HAVE A STORY TO TELL! Not many people have gotten to experience something as traumatic as what I have been through and LIVED. I firmly believe that my life was spared for a reason.

A few nights ago I talked to one of my best friends Jay Weaver who was my roommate and at the track the day of my accident. He told me he remember following me to Conway Regional Hospital where the doctors rushed to stabilize me. It was too foggy that day to land a helicopter at the track and he told me the paramedics didnt think I would make the 40 min trip to UAMS where they had a trauma unit. They took me to a local regional hospital where they worked to stabilize my body. I was told that the doctor came out and told both he and my sister, it was critical and i may not make it! I was told that before, but never did I realize that it had come from a doctor. Its amazing when I look back and think of just how close I came to dying. Its a miracle I am here today, but I was spared for a reason....I KNOW that I must spend my days thanking God EVERYDAY for his blessings! I pray that I will live up to the man he knew I would become!

The next year will be the BEST EVER!!! I will work HARD and I am DETERMINED to walk again!....BUT in order for this to happen! I MUST HAVE THE PRAYERS OF EVERYONE! God will hear our cries just like he did when everyone asked him to save my life!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some news on my current status!

Well its mid January, and as I look back on where I was this time last year, my progress is simply amazing! My shoulder surgery was on January 10th of 2008, over a month after I was in the accident. My shoulder was shattered and needed extensive surgery, but due to my body being unstable they had to wait almost a month to do the surgery. I stayed at UAMS for another week after my shoulder surgery and left January 17th (my birthday) for Baptist rehab. Looking back on those days were tough! I remember the ambulance ride to Baptist Hospital and being in agony from the pain. You must remember for a month and a half I had only sat up a few times in bed. I remember my PT at UAMS trying to get me ready for Baptist Rehab, by getting me to SIT UP IN BED! haha BABY STEPS!! I remember trying so hard and struggling to sit up. Its amazing to see what I am capable of doing today, and I know I have a lot more recover in my future.

As I mentioned in my previous post I have signed up for several clinical trials and interviews at research facilities. I received a call from Gainsville on the clinical trials I had signed up for several weeks ago. The gentleman said that they were no longer holding trials for that particular study. He told me the trial had ended several months ago but they hadn't been taken off of the clinical trials registry. However, he wanted my info because he thought I would be a good canidate for future studies. I did a phone interview discussing my progress and my abilities. The gentleman was amazed at my progress and told me that he was sure they would have a study in the near future that I would be great for the clinical trial!

On January 30th I have an interview with the Miami Project. My family and I are driving to Miami to visit the facility. I received a phone call from a lady at the Miami project who told me that they were not a REHAB facility but a research facility. They Miami project only does clinical trials to test new therapies and drugs to cure paralysis. They are doing cutting edge research on stem cells which I am anxious to be apart of the studies. Please pray that I will be apart of this research!

Also in several months I will be going back to Shepherds to the BEYOND THERAPY research rehab!

I am so blessed to have the support and love from so many of you! Thank you for reading my blog and following my progress! More than rehab, studies, and therapy PRAYERS are what are curing my body. Please continue the prayers!! Doctors are already amazed at my progress. I am asked constantly what I would contribute to my success and I always say...IT IS GOD, THROUGH PRAYERS AND FAITH!! I still believe that to be the key to my recovery. Thank you for your love and support! Im going to use this injury to glorify God in all that I do. I will give him the honor and Glory to all my success and progress. My accident is to bring others to Christ. I hope and pray that I am used as an instrument to further his kingdom.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

A New Year-Great Things will happen in 09

I pray that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Years! I had a great holidays and I feel that 2009 will bring even more miracles and great things for my recovery. I have a lot of great news as far as new therapies I am expecting to receive in 2009.

A few days ago I logged onto brain an spinal I went there to find out what clinical trials were available for me to be apart of for research. I wrote an email and sent it out to several doctors explaining my injuries and my current recovery. The following day I received a phone call from a gentleman who works for the organization that makes the website. He had some encouraging words for me and was astonished at my recovery. He told me just how RARE it was to go from an ASIA-A to an ASIA-C. He asked me what I did, or what I would contribute to my success. I told him that my faith in God and the prayers that went to God on my behalf is the only way my progress can be explained. The gentleman told me that through my email he could tell I was a man of faith. He went onto say that he too was a man of faith and a follower. He wanted me to tell my story to others, because so many times people do not look to God for help. The organization can not but spiritual things on the website, only educational information. He encouraged me to spread the word of God through my story and I agreed that would be my mission for the rest of my life! Its AMAZING how God works behind the scenes!

I have signed up for several studies and therapies in 2009. I will need the prayers of everyone for this reason. Pray that I will be admitted into these programs and get the therapies I need. I have signed up for a clinical trial in Gainsville, Florida. The trial would consist of using the Locomat which I used at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. It involves using treadmills and weight baring to further enhance my strength and endurance when I walk. I am expecting a phone call on Monday to look into the clinical trial in Gainsville. Pray that I can be excepted into this program. I read the requirements and it would appear that I meet all of them for the clinical trial.

I have also looked into the Miami Project for research and clinical trials. My family has decided to drive to Miami to check out this facility and see what clinical trials and research I can be apart of in the coming months. The Miami Project is making great advancements in research and are on the cutting edge in finding a cure. The Miami Project is one of the best centers in the country. We have a tentative date to meet with the people there and take a tour of the facilities. I will also attend a presentation on the new advancements the research has shown at the Miami Project. Please pray that my visit will be productive and that I could be apart of clinical trials and research that could help in my recovery.

In about six months I have been accepted back into the Shepherd Center to be apart of the BEYOND THERAPY program. This is a research therapy which Shepherd has seen to be VERY effective in the recovery of muscles. This is a very intense physical therapy regiment. Using new technologies and exercise, I will be working very hard each and everyday. I visited the Beyond Therapy program when I was at Shepherds in October and everyone in there was sweating from head to toe! I asked alot of the patients what they thought of the program and they told me that they had seen amazing results. I pray that I will see the same when I become a part of the program in a few months.

I have already made great advancements and my recovery has amazed everyone who has seen my progress. God is working miracles in my life. There is no doubt that my progress has been solely the work of God. He has given me so much to be thankful for in 2008 and I know that in 2009 he will bless me even more!! I humbly ask for more prayers on the upcoming clinical trials and research. Please pray that I can be apart of these studies and that I can get the care I need. Thank you all for your prayers!! I AM WORKING HARD, TO WALK AGAIN ONE DAY!! With God's help and the prayers of so many of you, I know I will walk again.