Josh had to undergo four hours of surgery and received a titanium cage to rebuild his spine. During the injury his spinal cord was compressed and the broken pieces from the vertebrate actually punctured his spinal cord. Initially doctors told Josh that he was going to be paralyzed from the waist down, but while in the intensive care unit at Loma Linda University Medical Center, he began to get feeling back to his legs and thighs.
After thorough research as to where he would begin his therapy, Josh and his family decided on the MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute at Long Beach Memorial, because of its excellent reputation and vicinity to their home in Cypress. Josh's relationship with Long Beach Memorial didn't start with him choosing to start his therapy here; he was also born at this hospital. Josh fell under the care of Ann Vasile, M.D., medical director, spinal cord injury rehabilitation program. Josh was at the hospital for two weeks and was actually discharged early because he was progressing so well.
Josh started out in a wheelchair, then began walking around in braces and has moved onto fore-arm crutches. He hopes to one day get full range of motion back and hopefully get back to work. "It's been an entirely new learning process with life, I'm just keeping hope alive", stated Josh.
Josh now goes to outpatient rehab twice a week and sees Dr. Vasile during these appointments every month and a half. At rehab, he's been working on walking naturally without support devices and his therapist puts him through a series of exercises such as balancing, an obstacle course, squats and bending down to pick things up. Josh feels very lucky to be doing so well with his recovery and attributes a lot of his progress to Long Beach Memorial.
"I am grateful to Long Beach Memorial and Dr. Vasile for helping me with my first steps toward recovery and getting a normal life back," he stated.
Josh participated in the 2nd Annual WiiHAB Championship fundraiser as a member on Team Diemha on April 14 at Houssels Forum. WiiHAB employs the use of the Nintendo Wii® system as a tool for rehabilitation in occupational therapy and physical therapy for patients who have been injured or have had a traumatic incident.
Physicians and patients will compete in virtual Nintendo Wii® Sports and play on competitive teams to reach fundraising goals. Proceeds from the event go towards purchasing new equipment and improving facilities for the MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute at Long Beach Memorial.
If you would like to follow Josh's story, you can go to his blog at joshwillwalk.blogspot.com.