Kennedy Krieger, HydroWorx Band Together in October "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Episode
Sometimes, an action as simple as holding oneself upright in a chair or feeling the pressure of a parent’s hug can be deemed miraculous. It certainly has been for Brian Keefer, 23, a patient of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, who is rallying from a life-altering accident with poise, grace and the help of experts.
Keefer suffered a devastating spinal cord injury in 2008 during a gymnastics accident. In a moment, he went from being an athletic college student to a quadriplegic; however, he never lost his zest for living life to the fullest. It was that attitude that drove him to begin rehabilitation at Kennedy Krieger, a facility renowned for its expertise in helping patients with neurological conditions regain as much mobility as possible. In Keefer’s case, physical, occupational and aquatic therapists focused their attention on helping the young man regain movement and function through cutting-edge techniques that include aquatic therapy in a HydroWorx pool.
“With our HydroWorx pools, the options are virtually limitless when it comes to developing treatment plans for patients,” said Christy Sachs, Manager, Aquatic Therapy Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. “We’re able to create completely individualized aquatic therapy sessions because of the flexibility to adjust the water depth, temperature, treadmill speed, and jet output in the pools.”
Keefer’s story of tenacity attracted the attention of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition producers who were riveted by the young man’s spirit and motivation to walk again. As Sachs notes, walking on one’s own is a goal for many spinal cord injury patients, but it takes a tremendous effort and, of course, there’s no guarantee. But with the help of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Kennedy Krieger, and sponsors like HydroWorx, a manufacturer of therapy pools, Keefer has been given the best possible opportunity to regain as much movement as he can.
In June 2011, the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team completely renovated the Keefer’s Etters, Pa., family home. By adding technological advances like a donated $40,000 HydroWorx T-series unit, Keefer has been given more freedom and independence. He can also work out anytime in an aquatic environment, which he loves. “In the pool, I’m free,” Keefer told reporters.
Anson Flake, CEO and co-founder, HydroWorx, looks forward to hearing about Keefer’s progress in the coming months and years. “Brian’s an amazing young man,” said Flake. “If anyone has the passion to do what it takes to walk again after such a traumatic injury, it’s he. We were thrilled to be a part of this project; every member of the HydroWorx team is pulling for the family!”
The Keefer family’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode is scheduled to air Friday, October 21, at 8:00 p.m. on ABC affiliate channels.
HydroWorx, based in Middletown, Pennsylvania, offers a wide range of underwater treadmill pools, underwater treadmills, and peripheral products and services. Every day, more than 15,000 athletes and patients use HydroWorx technology to recover from injuries and health conditions.
More information about HydroWorx can be found at www.HydroWorx.com.
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