|Joe Dailey (above) & Kevin Marquis (below)
>Joe Dailey has been an enthusiastic runner throughout his life. He competed in track during high school, developed running clubs with co-workers, and completed numerous full and half marathons. His goal was to run an ultra-marathon before he turned 40.
>Just following Joe’s 38th birthday in 2003, he was driving to South Dakota from the Twin Cities for Thanksgiving, when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident, flipping his truck into a ditch. Joe was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital in the Twin Cities, where he was diagnosed with an incomplete spinal cord injury at C6-C7 and was informed he would be on a ventilator for the rest of his life.
>During his initial physical therapy session after spending a month in the ICU, post-injury, Joe could only maintain a sitting position for 30 seconds before he needed to lie back down because of his inability to maintain his blood pressure. His first occupational therapy session involved picking up blocks and placing them into a bucket and he couldn’t believe how physically taxing these activities that he had once taken for granted had become. One of Joe’s friends that he had ran with paid him a visit at the hospital and told him to approach his recovery just as he would another marathon, only this marathon is a little longer. Two years after the injury, Joe had his ventilator removed and has been an active participant in yoga before joining the ABLE program.
>Joe has participated in the Activity Based Locomotor Exercise (ABLE) program since his initial assessment on 8/15/12 coming three sessions per week, with each session consisting of one hour of Guided Exercise, Locomotor Training, Overground, and lower extremity FES bike.
Over the previous five months Joe has improved his core strength. He has completely eliminated the use of a sliding board during transfers and can independently bring his lower extremities into bed. These are just a few examples of how Joe has gained more autonomy since joining the ABLE program. He has also decreased his dosage of spasticity medication, increased sensation below level of injury, developed a newfound ability to perspire, and has only recently been able to sense wetness below his level of injury.
>In his spare time Joe enjoys reading Stephen King or John Grisham novels, writing, attending yoga classes, and being a proud grandfather and spoiling his grandchildren every chance he gets. Joe’s next goals are to complete another marathon and to go skydiving.
>“Just Wiggle your big toe, just wiggle your big toe!”
>This was one of many commands Kevin Marquis told himself every night, as he stared at his motionless legs from his bed at Regions Hospital. Just days before, he celebrated with friends and family the Fourth of July at his recently new apartment.
>On this hot summer day, Kevin and his friends ventured out to the lake which was in his backyard of his apartment building. He could see a few children, and adults some ways out in the lake, only the top of their bodies, which the necked eye you would only think the water is deep. Not knowing, there were actually sitting on the bottom of the lake’s floor.
>Not in this case. Kevin made is way down the dock, sprinting to be the first one in. He was a swimmer in high school so he was capable of performing the prefect dive. In this case, Kevin choose a shallow dive which some may say is what saved his life. When Kevin was airborne he was unaware what would actually happen to him next. Just a routine dive, where he would come a float welcoming his party who all watched from afar. On this Fourth of July Kevin’s life would be changed forever. He dove, head first in only 2 feet of water.
>Luckily Kevin was accompanied by two EMT’s in his party, who were the first on the scene. They immediately called 911 and Kevin was rushed to Regions Hospital. The doctor informed Kevin that hat he sustained a burst fracture to his C7-C6 vertebrae. Even worst the doctor told Kevin he would never walk again. Kevin had no sensation from chest level down, and couldn’t believe the traumatic events that had happened so fast. Kevin was scheduled for Spinal cord surgery the following morning where doctors would fuse Kevin’s C5 to T1 vertebrae.
Through these traumatic events Kevin always stayed positive. His family and friends were his support group. They all played a great part in motivating Kevin, and keeping him in good spirits. Kevin is a “take it how it is,” kind of person. He knew more than anything he needed to push himself and always stay motivated. With his ambition and his drive his goal was to prove the doctors wrong. He told himself he will walk again!
>Approximately 4 days later Kevin was attending physical and occupational therapy at Regions Hospital. While in a therapy session on a functional electrical stimulation bike, Kevin felt he had volitional movement in his lower extremities. His therapist then positioned him on a hi-low mat and propped his one leg on a (pad with castors) to eliminate resistance of gravity. Kevin was cued to flex his hamstring, and within seconds Kevin’s leg started to flex ending around 90 degrees.
Kevin left Regions Hospital on July 21st admitting into Courage Centers Golden Valley’s Transitional Rehabilitation center, where at the time he was still in a manual chair. He started up physical therapy and occupational therapy right away. Within the month of his therapy he had many ups and down. On good days he would stand alone for seconds, which eventually turn to minutes. On other days his standing would end Kevin’s “Guided transfers to the floor.”
>Kevin began the Activity Based Locomotor Exercise program (A.B.L.E) one month later. When he started the A.B.L.E program he was still learning how to use his front wheel walker. In his first month he performed Locomotor training, Overground exercises, and guided exercises before discharging out of Courage Centers TRP. On his discharge date he told family and friends that that would be the last day he would ever use a manual chair. He was right….
One day in early November, Kevin left for work as he would on any normal day. When he got to his desk he noticed that he was missing something. His cane. He proceeded the rest of the day without it, and ending the day without any “guided transfers” to the ground.
>Today Kevin is still continuing A.B.L.E and physical therapy and he occasionally uses his cane in public. He is now sprinted on during locomotor training without any assistance and his leg or hips. Kevin feel that the A.B.L.E program is very inspiring and motivated him in his road to recovery. He was amazed just how much progress was made within the first month of participating in the A.B.L.E program. Kevin most recent test was advised by his physician to take drivers test so he could legally operate a motor vehicle. With his astonishing drive and his remarkable motivation Kevin passed the test with flying colors.