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Sean Carter Walks Again Video Part 1

A Journey Through Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation

March 03, 2011 by Erna Albertz

Sean Carter’s plans didn’t include traumatic brain injury.

Sean Carter lying in a hospital bed following a severe car crash which left him with multiple injuries

A DWI truck accident, in which Sean was a passenger, changed all that. Besides the multiple fractures and internal injuries, Sean suffered a traumatic brain injury, completely losing the ability to walk, talk or control anything but his index finger.

But Sean Carter doesn’t believe in giving up.

His long road back—through brain remapping, neuromuscular training, and other advanced procedures—brought him to Dr. Karen McCain, an Assistant Professor at a prestigious southern university. She predicted that with the help of a Rifton XL Pacer Adult Gait Trainer, Sean might walk again.

“Initially, he could only move his legs appropriately in response to an outside force propelling the Pacer,” McCain recalled. Owing to his traumatic brain injury, “he simply could not plan the steps necessary to move it himself. Even with assistance, it took him close to half an hour to take 12 steps on his own.”

But Sean’s persistence with the XL Pacer paid off. “After only four weeks, Sean could walk in the Pacer unassisted and without stopping for two hours—covering 800 feet!” McCain said. “We were astonished.”

The new mobility, shown in this video series, has made his life better in other ways. For the first time in more than four years of TBI rehab, he was able to get himself into bed. “I can’t describe how much this means to him,” McCain said. “He told me, ‘I’m looking forward to the rest of my life now, for the first time in a long time!’ The Pacer has been such a powerful tool in Sean’s mobility and overall recovery.”

Sean Carter and his mother in an auditorium, speaking to students about his accident and the lessons he learned.

Sean has a lot to look forward to. Two years ago, he returned to college to work toward his bachelor’s in business administration. He “talks” by typing his thoughts into a tablet computer that speaks for him. And his electrifying presentations about responsible driving have inspired thousands of school children in his home state of Texas and well beyond.

More about Sean’s recovery:
TBI Recovery and Supported Gait
Sean Carter Walks Again Video Part 2

Sean’s website:
When Sean Speaks

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Reply by Ray Miller on September 30, 2011 at 12:00 AM
I doubt that anyone can ever get entirely "used to" such examples of the empowerment that your equipment brings to those, like Sean, who have just regained a part of their life that too many of us take for granted. I am not "used to" such things—"Ahh–I’m in heaven" put tears in my eyes and touched my soul. Thank you for sharing.
Reply by Marianna R. Kennedy on September 30, 2011 at 3:19 PM
The Sean Carter video should come with a warning for all mothers (and probably many fathers) that you will be crying within the first minute. Thank you for sharing it with me.