Three years ago on Labor Day, nineteen-year-old Brooke Thabit of Boca Raton dove from a Jupiter dock into shallow water and crushed the C-4 and C-5 vertebrae, leaving her paralyzed. She is quick to point out that’s “paralyzed,” not “paralyzed for life.” Thabit works out at Neurofit360 in Pembroke Pines with physical therapist Guy Romain.
Thabit is an ambassador for Red Bull’s Wings for Life World Run, which is planned to take place May 3, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. The Red Bull Wings For Life World Run funds epidural stimulations, a procedure where doctors insert a device about the size of a cell phone that helps the brain bypass the injured portion of the spinal column. In 2103, four patients, who were paralyzed for at least two years, took part in a test study in Louisville. The results were amazing. All four participants stood — the longest for four minutes — and took small steps after receiving epidural stimulation.
On May 3, The Red Bull’s Wings for Life World Run will take place at the same time in 35 cities around the world. Sunrise is one of the cities participating this year. All runners’ entry fees go toward spinal cord research and with the recent breakthroughs and advancement in this field of medicine, the money is more important than ever.
In March of this year, the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation partnered and are looking for $15 million to test 36 people for a clinical study in the United States.
Thabit isn’t guaranteed a spot in the study. But as a former surfer sponsored by Ohana Surf Shop in Stuart, she is considered a good candidate due to the excellent athletic condition she was in when she suffered her injury.
To prepare herself, she continues training three days a week at NeuroFit 360 in Pembroke Pines, which specializes in rehabilitating the paralyzed. She warms up by punching the air and twisting her torso. NeuroFit360 owner Guy Romain places support boots on her legs, then helps her stand. Because she has no feeling in her legs, mirrors are placed around her so she can watch her body perform.
Seven people who were completely paralyzed in their legs and have undergone stimulation can now move their legs without the help of a machine, and some can stand independently.
Thabit says. “People are actually walking. It definitely helps me stay positive, not give up. You see that it’s actually happening.”
This is a huge medical step that means a spinal cord injury may no longer mean a lifelong sentence of permanent paralysis.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another, contact the personal injury attorneys at Wolf & Pravato serving South Florida – including Ft Lauderdale, Aventura and Pembroke Pines. Call us today for a free consultation 1 (844) 334-1783