Dave Kemp - Walk it Off RecoveryDavid Kemp – T5/6 ASIA B Incomplete

Hello, my name is David Kemp and in July 2009, I sustained a spinal cord stroke, which is a very rare form of stroke. In the span of less than 24 hours I went from sitting at my office desk like any other day to being diagnosed a T5/6 Asia B incomplete (paraplegic). Prior to my injury I was very active and played a number of sports including curling and golf. While at Toronto Rehab Institute (Lyndhurst) I started researching the internet for information about recovery and came across the Project Walk (PW) website. In May 2010, I attended PW Carlsbad, CA Spinal Cord Recovery Centre for one month, returning in February 2011 for another one-month visit.

I met Kevin and Heather by chance at Lyndhurst and learned of their plan to start a similar facility in Canada. Soon after I began working with their first trainer, Julia, at my home upon her return from training at Project Walk.

In the early years after my injury occurred, I made significant gains. I improved my core and lower back strength, gained some control of my leg muscles despite having a lot of tone and spasticity in my legs. One of the high points in that timeframe was a totally independent walk of 100 feet with a walker despite being told by the initial doctors that I had less than a 5% chance of ever walking again.

I am now in what I refer to as my maintenance program. It is obvious at this time that without some form of medical intervention I will not be able to regain the mobility I once had. I accept that but do not let it deter me. I spend parts of three days a week there working on stretching, range of motion and other exercises to challenge my new me. I also ride the FES bike for an hour each of those days which provides many benefits including some cardio-vascular, muscle mass on my legs and maintaining my bone density to a level consistent with an able bodied male of my age.

Make a donation to assist Dave with his treatment program at Walk it Off Recovery.