Fifteen years following a spinal cord injury, one of MNC’s clients Robert Shelton has walked over 500 steps using the Rewalk, aswell as walking outside for the first time. The Rewalk is a wearable, robotic exoskeleton. This achievement is amazing considering the level of his lesion and being diagnosed as a complete spinal cord injury in 2002.

Robert believes that without ongoing therapy to maintain his body in an optimal condition he would never have been able to take advantage of this new technology which of course was not available 15 years ago when he had his injury.

The last paragraph of Roberts story has now come to fruition.

I found MNC in 2004, two years after breaking my neck at C6/7. My aim was to improve my posture and reduce spasticity. At the time, I was taking 120mg of baclofen a day. Which was making me drowsy, and giving me short-term memory loss. These side effects were negatively affecting the 25 hours a week work I do for a bank.

It was immediately obvious to Lynne, the first physiotherapist to treat me, that although my break was bad it was not complete, as told when in rehab after my accident.

Initially I attended physio three times a week. We worked on correcting my posture and bad habits, and focused on finding and then using some of the limited muscle movement spared especially in the stomach, bottom and legs. The improvements enabled me to come off baclofen completely, which not only got me over the horrible side effects, but also allowed me to appreciate, understand and work with the muscles below my break line. An added advantage has been a significant improvement in my breathing.

Now fifteen years after breaking my neck, I still go to MNC once or twice a week. The physiotherapy I receive now ensures any muscles strains and bad habits are sorted out before they become a problem. I am still getting stronger; although at the age of 57 there has been a reduction in stamina from when I originally broke my neck at 42. I have managed to keep off baclofen and maintain a much lower level off care than originally envisaged (I live alone on a 280 acre farm in the Yorkshire Dales, but do have daily help).

Keeping my body strong has allowed me to go on holidays, and this year I have skied in Banff, with Rocky Mountain Adaptive and swam in the Mediterranean.

I am a Trustee for the charity Spinal Research and am still a believer. Regular physiotherapy helps sustain my body in good condition and hopefully I will be able to benefit from any scientific breakthrough in the future.

Robert Shelton