My name is Matthew and I am 21 years old. My level of injury is C8-T1 incomplete. I was injured in a scuba-diving accident in the Florida Keys on December 28, 2009. I was immediately sent to Mariners hospital in Key Tavernier to be treated in the hyperbaric chamber for five days there. I then went to Jackson Memorial hospital in Miami and was an inpatient for about two months. I was discharged in late February but continued occupational and physical therapy as an outpatient there for two additional months. However, due to their scheduling conflicts, I could only go to therapy twice a week. Having been an athlete before my injury, I wanted to push myself to do more than that.
In late April we found CNR online. We scheduled a consultation for the next day, and when we got there we were quite impressed with the C.A.S.T program. They have some of the best equipment out there backed by research to help people with spinal cord injury have the best chance of recovery. Their equipment simply is not possible for many physical therapy programs to have and maintain. We signed up in late April and started going five days a week, about four hours each day. After about a month, I have noticed that I am getting more muscle tone in my legs from machines like the Ergys II bike and the NuStep. It has become easier for me to voluntarily move my legs as well, and I have much more range of motion in the legs. I even have taken my first steps while here, which was a really good feeling. I also have noticed increased strength in my arms from using machines like the Krankcycle and many different workouts on the Vortex Pro machine, which is one of my favorites.
The staff also is very kind and considerate, yet they push you to meet your goals. I find myself even sweating at times from the intense workout while I’m there. They are dedicated to helping you improve at whatever level you find yourself, and encourage you to break your own records. If anyone with a spinal cord injury is looking for a place that will optimize their chance of recovery, CNR is the place to be.
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