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Brian Keefer of ‘Extreme Makeover’ Working Hard to Achieve a Goal

2012 November 30

Those of you who are familiar with Brian Keefer’s story through ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ know that he is no stranger to challenges and obstacles.  But there is hope!

Recently we visited with Brian Keefer and family to see his progress and how his rehabilitation has been going. The video below as well as the video featured in the Patriot News ArticleStronger every day: Brian Keefer of ‘Extreme Makeover’ is gaining mobility after paralyzing accident, captures what we are unable to put into words! Brian has made great improvements, but it certainly has not been easy.

In 2008, Brian Keefer became a quadriplegic after attempting a triple flip gymnastic move at a local gym. After going through what can be a called a ‘life altering incident’, it can be difficult not to dwell on how life was before. But the optimistic and upbeat Brian tells The Patriot News, that he uses those memories as motivation. After emerging from the HydroWorx therapy pool during an aquatic therapy session with therapist, Kelsey Harbold, Brian says,

I want to get back to how life was before. I try to be positive. It’s a personal choice to be in a good mood or a bad mood, and I choose to be in a good mood.

Talk about inspiration! If that is not inspiring enough, Keefer, 25, has accomplished a lot since his accident in 2008. He has graduated from Lock Haven University with a degree in recreation management and most notably been featured on the national television show, “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.” 4,000 volunteers rebuilt his family home in Newberry Township in June of 2011 to best accommodate all of Brian’s needs.  The HydroWorx therapy pool, located in the therapy room, was among the many high-tech innovations featured in their new home.

Keefer has been working with therapist, Kelsey Harbold, three times a week and has made significant progress. As the article tells us and you can see in the videos, Brian could sit independently only for a few seconds on a platform in the pool before falling over. This past week, he was able to sit upright  for over 30 minutes, even with the resistance jets pushing against him! These ‘baby steps’ as father Steve calls them, have been occurring more and more recently, due to his determination and work ethic with his therapist. Brian is now able to sit unsupported and wave, something he was unable to do following his accident.  To many, these are normal everyday actions, but to Brian the simple movement of his hand reminds him that he is making progress towards his ultimate goal of being able to walk again!

Brian learned the physical therapy moves through the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury in Baltimore, where he goes every six months to be tested for nerve reactions and muscle strength and to receive intensive therapy. Even Daniel Becker, director of the pediatric spinal cord injury unit at Kennedy Krieger, says Brian’s change in bodily functions and movements is remarkable! He is far from his full potential, but for right now Brian is taking it one day at a time, with the ultimate goal of being able to take one step at a time!

To read the full article about Brian Keefer’s progress, click here!  Become inspired!

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