Charity Spotlight: Pushing Boundaries

Uncategorized | December 20, 2017

General Purpose of Pushing Boundaries:

Pushing Boundaries provides rehabilitative exercise therapy, combined with innovative technology that is unavailable anywhere else in the region, for individuals with paralysis due to injury or illness to help recover function and independence. Support and education are available for family members as well as the entire paralysis community and general public through our Support Center and our Community Outreach & Education programs.

There are an estimated 70,000 people in the Puget Sound region living with a neurological condition resulting in paralysis. Conditions include spinal cord injuries, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, CP and CMT to name just a few. Although the majority of our clients reside in the Puget Sound region, clients arrive from the greater Northwest and beyond to participate in our program (OR, AK, ID, MT, CA, HI). Neurological conditions not only affect mobility, but also affects every system of the body, and tremendously impact a person’s independence and quality of life.

Every client since 2005 has recovered beyond what was originally expected. In 2017, we have been able to help 50% of our clients reach their goals and move out of our therapy program and into a productive life.

The following are a few of the client successes your partnership has supported:

Bryce– a 28-year-old who sustained severe injuries including a spinal cord injury in an industrial accident in Alaska. Bryce relocated to western Washington for his care and rehabilitation because similar services are not available in Alaska. When he arrived he was dealing with severe tissue breakdown, he was unable to regulate his blood pressure, had minimal upper extremity movement and no trunk control. Bryce has not only been able to improve his core strength and wrist function, but his emotional state has improved dramatically. Before graduating from the program, Bryce served as a mentor to new Pushing Boundaries clients.
Summer– is a 28-year-old who sustained a traumatic brain injury in a near drowning accident at the age of 13. After her injury, she was at high risk of falling and could not be left alone. Summer has improved her strength and gait. She is now working towards independent living.
Conrad– a 28-year-old, 4th-year med student who sustained a spinal cord injury while mountain biking. When he arrived, he was unable to regulate his blood pressure and had no arm movement or trunk control. Conrad has regained use of his arms and has returned to med school where he recently sat for his medical boards.

Pushing Boundaries Client Statistics:

While we serve clients with any neurological condition that affects function and mobility, the primary conditions of our current clients are:

  • 54% spinal cord injury
  • 17% stroke
  • 9% Multiple Sclerosis
  • 7% traumatic brain injury
  • 13% other

How does Pushing Boundaries benefit the community?

For almost 13 years, we have helped thousands of clients with paralysis and their families regain hope, function and independence through three programs: Client Therapy Services, Support Center, and Community Outreach & Education.

Problem & Solution:

Problem? For many with paralysis, being told that they will never walk again and that they need to get used to their new normal – life in a wheelchair – is not acceptable. They WANT to push against the conventional wisdom of their doctors. They WANT to explore what is possible by thinking outside the box. They DON’T want to resign that there is no hope.

Problem? Medically based therapy does not address recovery. Because we are NOT part of the traditional medical system, doctors, physical therapists and others rely on us to complete the recovery process. Therein lies the problem; clients must pay out of pocket to receive recovery therapy. Although we charge a significantly reduced fee per hour, clients participate up to ten hours per week in one on one therapy. These fees can be crippling to a family.

Numerous studies have shown that the body’s nervous system can rewire itself (neuroplasticity) after a neurological injury or illness occurs through highly repetitive exercise therapy. Exercise is also critical for individuals with paralysis to help reduce secondary conditions such as skin breakdown, osteoporosis, and diabetes.

For almost 12 years, Pushing Boundaries has been the only facility in the region that provides recovery-based exercised therapy. What makes us unique? We give everyone the chance to recover as much function as possible because we lay outside the typical and traditional medical rehabilitative system. Exercise therapists work one on one, two on one, sometimes three on one to ensure that every client is able to participate in the most thorough, repetitive, long-term program available. We utilize the latest tools: body weight supported gait training, electrostimulation, robotics, vibration therapy, the list goes on. Recovery of function takes years. We allow clients that time. There are no limits. Only results.

Goals & Impact:

At Pushing Boundaries we help clients recover hope, regaining strength, teach the body how to work again and build confidence.

Our goal is to help each client reach their goals: being able to perform ADL’s on own, regaining the ability to drive again, returning to work, going to college, getting married, starting a family… resuming life!

The impacts on clients and their families are truly priceless and immeasurable.

The tears and euphoria felt when a client WALKS for the first time after their doctor told them they may never walk again.
The immense sense of accomplishment when a client regains the use of his arms and hands so that he can hug his child again.
The unimaginable fear and confusion a family member is experiencing after an injury or illness can be calmed when we offer unlimited time to talk, brainstorm and answer any questions they have about this new, strange world of paralysis.
The joy shared when a client claws himself out of the dark emotional hole caused by his injury…allowing his heart and his mind to receive and give love…and marry the girl of his dreams.

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