Greg's Story of H.O.P.E.
Greg has always been an avid outdoorsman. The summer after he graduated college, he spent a month hiking the Blue Mountains of Tennessee. He also skied regularly and was good at it. After graduating from college, he went on what should have been an ordinary ski trip in Stratton, VT. While performing a complex trick, Greg’s ski fell off mid-flight and he landed on his head. At first, Greg felt fine. He got up and continued skiing for the remainder of the afternoon. That night, he went to bed looking forward to another day on the slopes with his friends and fellow skiers.
The next day, though, Greg woke up not feeling like himself. He began to vomit and convulse. Greg was rushed to a hospital. The surgeons discovered a blood clot in his brain, and doctors needed to perform emergency brain surgery on Greg.
While the procedure saved Greg’s life, it left him “locked-in”--unable to use his extremities, speak, or swallow. At age 21, he became completely dependent on his family and caretakers.
Two Years of Therapy as Usual
Over the course of the next two years, Greg received all therapies and services available to him, both within and outside of insurance. He received physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology for about 180 minutes per week. He also received Activity-Based Restorative Therapy (ABRT) at a clinic in Brookfield, CT. While he went frequently and for longer periods of time, the ABRT program did not offer concurrent multi-planar neuro-muscular training. As a result, Greg's improvement stopped.
concurrent multi-planar neuromuscular training
NOUN :a functional strength and neuromuscular program that trains the body using the three planes of motion: forwards and backwards, side-to-side, and rotationally
Greg, his parents, and his doctors knew he needed more. In 2016, Greg’s psychiatrist referred him to M.W.H. Greg’s big goal was to live more independently. His other goal was also big: to get a Master's degree in chemistry. A team of experienced therapists at M.W.H. worked with Greg and his family to plan how to improve his cognitive and motor skills so he could achieve both these goals.
In the beginning, Greg was almost completely immobile and extremely dependent on his family and caregivers. He was unable to feed, bathe, groom, dress, or use the toilet without the full assistance of an aide. He also had no control over his bladder or bowels. On his first day, he walked 60 feet over 7 minutes while heavily assisted.
The MovingwithH.O.P.E. Difference
Over the past 2.5 years, Greg has received over 2000 hours of therapy at M.W.H., a level of access that is unparalleled. His ABRT trained Greg to use all three planes of motion, with a heavy focus on walking, pivoting, and sidestepping.
Greg has made tremendous progress. Today, he can walk 60 feet in just over 1 minute with minimal assistance. His personal best is 48 seconds. He is also able to stand and maintain proper posture of his trunk while bearing ~95% of his weight on his legs. He has gained full mobility of his upper trunk and upper appendages.
Greg is almost completely independent. He is able to feed, bathe, groom and dress himself and only needs minimal assistance in using the toilet and walking and he has regained full control of his bowels and bladder.
Today, Greg lives in his own apartment. Although he has a live-in aide, he is mostly self-sufficient.
“The staff at M.W.H. made me feel comfortable and safe, and I felt immediate results,” Greg says. “I am walking much farther and faster and with less assistance. I can also hike and enjoy camping with my family again!”
What’s Next for Greg?
Greg is working to complete his Master's degree. He looks forward to getting a job in either chemistry or pharmaceuticals. One perk he looks forward to in employment is vacation time so he can camp and hike with his friends and family.