Saturday, July 13, 2013

Inspiring Story 1 - Dennis Byrd

When the doctors told me it would be a couple of years before I would walk "normal enough" in about two years, I was really determined to do it within two months - I don't know if my physical therapists felt that I was that determined considering all the trouble I had in the beginning.  But, I really couldn't move below the waist.  Okay, then there was the fraidy cat part of me who doesn't want to fall.

One of the first things that popped into my head, however, was the story of Dennis Byrd.  I might have been watching the game, but if not, I saw it on the highlight reel - but I had remembered the incident all these years.  Byrd was a football player for the New York Jets - he was a defensive tackle, and he broke a vertebrae in a collision with his teammate while rushing the quarterback.

I had thought that he was told that he would never walk again.  So, when I saw the news a year later that he "walked" out into the field, I thought, "Wow." 

So, twenty years later, I am being told it would take two years for me to walk again.  And my mind was if someone who wasn't supposed to walk again started walking, then there would be no reason for me to worry, or feel sorry for myself. But I wanted to do it sooner than two years.  I really wanted to walk afgain within two months.

A couple of weeks later, a friend asked me if there was any book I would like to read. Yes, I said, "the Dennis Bryd Story," but I got the title wrong.  Anyway, on his next visit to the hospital, he brought me the book, and I devoured it - read it in two days. The book is titled, "Rise and Walk - The tRial and Triumph of Dennis Byrd."

I did find out from reading the book, Byrd had an "incomplete" injury, which means that the spinal cord was not completely destroyed.  So, physically, it was possible for him to walk again, but just because something is possible, doesn't mean it's probable.  That's where the inspiration comes in.  Bryd very easily could still be in a wheelchair now, but his determination, and the support he received around him enabled him to accomplish his goal of walking again. 

Apparently, his story was made into a tv movie, which I never saw, but would hope to see someday.  As for the book,  I highly reccommend it - especially anyone who is recovering from spinal cord injury.

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