|Updated: 9/11/2012 10:14 am
||Published: 9/10/2012 8:13 pm
Seven and half years ago, Brandon Stone’s life changed at a stoplight.
“I didn’t even see it coming,” said the 31-year-old, “This guy ran into the back of my car going between 60 and 80 miles an hour.”
In 2005, Brandon was working in Philadelphia. He was headed home on the evening he was in a car wreck.
“My car was crushed like a can,” Brandon said.
Among his extensive injuries, Brandon had a torn aorta, a punctured lung and a damaged kidney. “I had nine broken ribs,” said Brandon, “All of my organs were shoved into my chest cavity.”
Brandon is now in a wheelchair, he suffered complete paralysis in his right leg and partial paralysis in his left leg.
He spent six months in the hospital in Philadelphia before he came back to Broken Arrow to live with his parents. Brandon’s father, Keith, said the accident took away his sons’ ability to walk but not his determination.
“He’s never been bitter about the guy that hit him, he’s never been bitter that he is in the chair,” Keith said.
Brandon said he tries to maintain a positive attitude. “I always somehow knew that I was going to walk again,” Brandon said, “I guess that is why I never gave up.”
Brandon said he hopes that answer comes from the Ekso which is a wearable robot that helps people with paralysis to walk and stand. “It will allow be to get rid of the wheelchair,” said Brandon.
The Ekso bionic suit at the INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation center in Oklahoma City is the only one in Oklahoma. The bionic device is battery powered, strapped on the users clothing and the physical therapists uses a control pad to help guide the device.
Brandon traveled to Oklahoma City, but he didn’t receive the news he wanted to hear. His body isn’t ready to wear the Ekso just yet.
“There is a discrepancy in his leg length,” said physical therapist Fabiola Lang.
“His pelvis is rotated and that is what is causing the discrepancy,” said Lang, “He needs to get in a really aggressive stretching program.”
Instead of getting defeated Brandon launched himself into a new rehabilitation program. The answer isn’t no, it’s not yet. “I’ve got some work to do, “said Brandon, “I’ll be back.”
Physical Therapists are hopeful that Brandon will be able to try to Ekso again in two or three months.