By Barry Moore, Neurorecovery Exercise Specialist
On a summer afternoon in 2019, Chuck Knox was at home when he fell down the stairs. Chuck was unable to move his arms or legs. Initially, he thought it was the shock of the fall but soon came to realize it was more serious. His wife, Sherri, called an ambulance and he was transported to the hospital. An MRI showed that Chuck had Central Cord Syndrome, an incomplete, cervical spinal cord injury. Chuck underwent surgery receiving several rods and screws to stabilize the vertebrae in his neck, as well as getting a C3-C6 fusion. After about 5 days of post-operative care, Chuck was discharged from the acute care hospital and sent to a rehabilitation hospital.
As an inpatient, Chuck received three hours of therapy several days a week focusing on improving his range of motion and learning how to transfer from his power wheelchair to a bed. After just 22 days, Chuck was discharged, when he ran out of insurance coverage.
Chuck’s home was not accessible enough for his needs, so it was recommended to him that he go to a skilled nursing facility. After just eight days at the facility, Chuck and Sherri decided to relocate to a different facility that could better meet his needs. At his second skilled nursing facility, Chuck engaged in physical therapy to work on improving his range of motion and received electrical stimulation on his arms. Chuck developed a urinary tract infection (UTI) while inpatient at his second facility, which led to a ten-day hospital stay after he developed sepsis. Chuck and his wife made the choice to relocate to a third facility. Third time was a charm. At his third skilled nursing facility, Chuck received PT and exercise. Sadly, after just 4 weeks, Medicare was no longer able to cover his stay as he “plateaued in his recovery”.
Chuck and Sherri modified their home to make it more accessible for Chuck’s mobility and self-care needs. He moved back home in October 2019, just 4 months after his accident. At the start of the year in 2020, Chuck’s Medicare benefits were restored, and he started back with outpatient Occupation Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT), and took part in some research and self-pay programs. In the spring of 2020, COVID struck and Chuck’s rehab came to a halt once again. Thankfully, at the end of 2020, Chuck resumed outpatient therapy and was referred to NeuroHope by one of his providers.
In January of 2021, Chuck started attending NeuroHope for PT and has since transitioned into guided exercise to work on his strength, endurance, overall mobility, and recently started with OT, as well. Chuck looks forward to coming to his sessions at NeuroHope and hopes to take part in future research studies. He is very social and loves the personal interactions with the staff and other NeuroHope community members. Chuck plans on rejoining his local gym to continue improving his fitness more independently. He believes he has the skills and confidence now to use their equipment and facilities with little help.
Having been told that 3 months after his accident, he had plateaued in his recovery, Chuck and Sherri didn’t give up hope. Today, Chuck walks in and out of NeuroHope using his rollator and has made huge strides in improving his quality of life at home and in the community. He walks daily and catches up with his friends on the golf course; for now, as a ride-along coach, but hopes to be soon swinging a club himself. He is also an active member of several non-profit organizations in the Indianapolis area and enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and grandkids!
We are honored to be part of Chuck’s recovery and proud of the resiliency Chuck has shown. We are excited to see his continued progress both in and out of our clinic.