My name is Stephen Cardea. On Oct 4th, 2004, I pretty much woke up with the right side of my body paralyzed. By the next day, the rest of my body was also paralyzed. I had a hemangioma rupture in my cervical column at level c/3- c/4, putting pressure my spinal cord and shutting me down. For a few weeks the only thing I could do was blink my eyes to communicate. I spent 2 months in ICU at Holy Cross in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Doctors told my wife to prepare for me to be a quad and stay like this. When I left there, my left arm had regained a little movement. I was sent to Miami Heart and Lung Institute at Mt. Sinai to wean off of the venilator that was breathing for me. After 10 days, I was breathing on my own, and I was sent to Jackson Memorial for 2 months of inpatient therapy. I left Jackson barely able to feed myself, and that was about it.
I continued my search to get better and stronger. 1 1/2 yrs of outpatient PT and OT at Healthsouth. But they seemed more concerned with teaching you how to live as you are, instead of with the intention of trying get you stronger and possibly better. In the past 6 yrs, I have done many types of therapy to help myself. Acupuncture, Bio-feedback, chiropractic, massage and pool exercises at home. All of these I feel have helped me to gain back alot of function and to be actually quite healthy considering my situation.
As in the past, we were looking for the next thing to do, when I found info on the Center For Neuro Recovery. Luckily for me, they were in nearby North Palm Beach. Me and my wife contacted them and set up an appointment to visit. We were impressed before we even visited due to the fact that the place was owned and operated by someone with an SCI, his brother and his best friend. That alone told me that this place was going to be different, AND IT IS!
The goal here is to build functional strength. I started in August 2010. I had movement and function but it was weak and slight. In the past 6 months I have made tremendous gains by following the program that Center For Neuro Recovery offers. Exercises using the TOTAL GYM, VORTEX, and VITA-GLIDE have given me all around strength and better balance. Using equipment such as the ERGYS bike, the NU-STEP, and of course the LOCOMAT PRO, all which pattern your mind and body to learn to walk, have enabled me to get up in the LITEGAIT walker and take steps. There is no doubt, no matter what your injury level, you WILL leave this place stronger and better.
This is a facility that is run hands on by people who actually care. I haven’t found that anywhere else. The trainers are just that, TRAINERS. Not therapists who are sitting there taking notes, letting you go through the motions. If you want to find out your potential, this is where you can do that.
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