To me, Get Back Up means empowerment and courage – the courage to take on a disability and show others that it can’t keep me or you down. I feel I have become part of a special group of people that can use this disability as a learning tool to keep moving forward.
My story begins nine years ago, when I was a Police Officer for the City of Rocky Mount, NC. On September 09, 2005, I answered a call that would change my life forever. To keep a long story short, during that call I was shot in line of duty. After the shooting, I had to retire on medical disability from the injuries I sustained. One significant injury I received was where the bullet shattered L4, L5 and the right sciatic nerve being severed, which resulted in foot drop.
The next several years were very hard on my family and me because I was left with a disability that really hindered my way life. It not only involved me but my wife and children as well. I gained a lot weight because of the medication I was taking for the pain and injury to my nerves. I was physically not able to do the things I once was able to do and it was also a trying time mentally. My family deserved better, especially my wife because she had gone through so much with having to care of my children and me.
Over the years I tried several different braces from off the shelf braces to custom-made braces. Then I was fitted with BlueROCKER® from Allard and the difference it made was amazing. I was able to walk with a better gait, and I decided it was time for a change.
I joined my local YMCA three years ago and with the help from my BlueROCKER® brace I was able to start my path to a better life. I started off very slow and it took well over two years to get the strength back in my upper and lower body with weight training, but I have lost over 40lbs over this time. As painful as it may be sometimes, I try to work out every day and do not feel right if I cannot. Because I have been able to get out and start doing things again, I have began coaching football and softball at my children’s school, and I speak with individuals about my disability, which has helped in the healing process mentally and physically. I will also be doing my first Spartan Race in March.
I continue to have no dorsiflexion or planterfexion in my left foot, my left leg has atrophied a great deal and I have constant nerve pain but I have to keep pushing forward, so hopefully it will show others that even with a disability you may not be able to do a lot but you can do something.
I trust in my BlueROCKER® because it has given me the ability to move forward in life and I would just like to thank everyone at Allard USA because without it, I would not be where I am today.
Embrace the pain, because it only makes you stronger!