On July 6th, 2013, Emmanuel Mavridakis was hit by a speeding car while driving an ATV. His helmet flew off his head as he flew 75 feet in the air. Thirteen year old Emmanuel was rushed to the hospital with severe head and spinal trauma. After waking up from a week in coma, he was told he had an incomplete spinal cord injury at T1-T2 and was paralyzed from the waist down. From July 6th- July 22nd, he was at the Sherbrooke Quebec Trauma Centre. He then spent about a month at St Justine Hospital in Montreal.
Emmanuel’s parents began to research what was going to be necessary for their son to recover to his full potential. It was through a friend that his mother heard about Aim2Walk and the Lokomat. The Lokomat is a treadmill with robotic legs which allow a person to walk even if their body can’t move itself. It is based on a concept called Neuroplasticity which is the ability of the brain to change and re-map itself when there is damage or change. Basically your brain is not hard-wired one way, it is adaptable to be rewired to allow healing. This allows the brain to remember or relearn to walk again due to the walking patterns on the Lokomat. Emmanuel currently attends daily therapy at Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre however, Sandra, Emmanuels mother knew she had to get her son on the Lokomat.
As soon as he was out of the hospital, Emmanuel and his family drove six hours from Montreal to Toronto to try out the walking machine. While he was here he was keen to try all we had to offer, although he was a bit hesitant about the acupuncture (due to some horror stories he saw in the movie Karate Kid) but he seemed to think it was pretty cool after his session.
While he was on the Lokomat he thought it was pretty cool to walk although his body can’t do it on its own right now.
If you’re interested in having a look at some of Emmanuels training at Aim2Walk please view this video.
I asked Emmanuel if it was hard staying positive through all his recent struggles and life style changes, and he told me “I don’t know how I could be anything but positive with the family and friends I have around me.” Emmanuel, we have enjoyed having your positive and outgoing personality at the clinic. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and we look forward to supporting you through your recovery.
All the best, from the Aim2Walk Team!
Check out this previous blog on Emmanuel.