DALLAS (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) - They are devastating injuries - a fall, a sports accident and suddenly, your spinal cord is damaged.
It happens 300,000 times a year in this country. Some people give up, but many are fighting back.
After a car wreck, Kendell Hall heard from her doctors that she would never walk again. They didn't know Kendall very well. Kendall lives independently, even owns and operates REACT Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center in Dallas. That's a restorative and non-profit gym for people living with spinal cord injuries.
"I've always been determined to get back on my feet and walk again," says Hall.
Paralyzed from the chest down after a motorcycle accident, Bill McKee now swims a thousand meters a week, works out in a Superman shirt, and is medication free.
"They look at your chart and they say well, you're a T5 complete injury, you can't do those things," Bill McKee, another REACT client says. "And I'm like, oh really?"
Certified strength and conditioning specialists use restorative exercises for everything from spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries to multiple sclerosis. And the workouts are intense.
"The mind is a powerful tool," Ryan Bachik, REACT Director of Development and Education says. "So our job here is to take what the doctors say because they know what they are talking about, but it doesn't mean that things can't happen, that miracles can't happen."
"There's tons of warriors in here that are fighting back and not content to sit in a wheel chair," McKee said.
"I really think you have to believe to achieve," says McGuire. "There's nobody in here that's not making progress."
While traditional medicine typically disputes the therapeutic value of restorative exercise, those who do it, swear by it, and continue to amaze the medical community.