Three Pilot Flying J employees pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to charges of conspiracy and wire fraud.More >>
Three Pilot Flying J employees pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to charges of conspiracy and wire fraud. Kevin Wallace Clark, Jay Stinnett, and Holly Radford pleaded guilty in exchange for providing information in the case.More >>
ATLANTA, Ga. (WATE) - Eleven-year-old Sarah Perez was paralyzed last year in a car accident. She was told she would never walk again.
Now Perez is beating the odds. She said her strength came in large part came from the community.
"It was very lucky because I wasn't supposed to move from the neck down or breathe on my own," Perez said.
She was determined to improve, and soon gained movement of her upper body. She even thought she had feeling in her legs.
"I told people and they just didn't pay attention to it and I said I think I have more potential than this," Perez said.
So she researched and discovered Project Walk in Atlanta, a spinal chord injury recovery center. Fundraisers in East Tennessee helped her find the finances need to make the trip. She now travels to Atlanta from Sevier County each week.
Lead trainer Tony Davenport said Project Walk goes beyond traditional therapy and is not limited by prescription or insurance guidelines.
"All I need to know is what their bone density scan reads and how safely, how fast and slow (they can exercise), and any other precautions I need to take to start exercises. I can do it without a prescription," Davenport said.
One tool is a machine that provides electrical stimulation to her legs to mimic walking. When she started seven weeks ago, she could only go three miles. Now she can go 10 miles, but this isn't the only where she's improved.
"Now I'm almost taking my first step in the lift walker, and my sitting balance has gotten a lot better," Perez said.
Davenport said Perez is already reaching beyond her predicted limits.
"With support of her knees she can stand and balance without her hands on the bar, where before that wasn't even a thought," Davenport said.
Sarah says this is only the beginning; she is determined to walk.
"I'm going to do it," Perez said. "I'm already so close and I knew that if I just continue this therapy it's just around the corner."
An hour of training at Project Walk costs $1,000. Sarah says she couldn't have gone with out the community's help.