Honoring our Veterans: Taking a New Direction to Walk Again

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This year has been filled with many new developments. As some of you know, I worked with my father in the Gait Harness System for several years.

His medical profile was like many of the clients with whom you work: he was 80 something years old, an active duty service disabled veteran, had a severe heart condition, secondary health issues, diabetes, multiple poorly healed fractures in his leg, and thus was living with compromised mobility.  My father was unable to live alone, requiring full time care in a nursing home. Staff there considered him too high risk to participate in an active physical therapy program.

After working 26 years with people who need to walk again, I knew my father remaining confined to bed and wheelchair was not a productive option for him, nor for anyone involved with his care. I certainly did not want my father’s last years spent with forced restriction. I began working with his nursing staff, and convinced them to use the Gait Harness System in their walking protocol for him.

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The next thing we knew, he was walking down the hall ways, two times a week. Those 20 – 30 minute walking activities, twice weekly were a ray of light for him, and raised the morale of nursing home staff and other residents. Several residents began watching him and wanted to participate. This productive activity created a very positive experience for him and those around him for several years.  Unfortunately, my father passed away earlier this year, due to a chronic health issue.

I think of all the other children, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers out there who may be sharing similar experiences to mine — caring for a disabled loved one who needs to walk again. Many people need our help getting back on the road to recovery, and can make good, quality of life improvement, if given the chance. My father repeatedly told me how much he enjoyed the independence of being back on his feet again, connecting with people at an eye-to-eye level. He felt a sense of dignity by taking an active role in working toward his own better health.

In his final years, my father was given the opportunity to get back on his own feet, regain some independence, and not remained confined for the rest of his life. I am thankful I was able to share this experience with my father, and hope other people can benefit from his example and see what walking again can do for them.

David Dubats, Founder, Second Step, Inc.

Please visit www.secondstepinc.com to find out more about the results oriented, clinically proven Gait Harness System® (GHS) and NEW Gait Harness System® II (GHSII). Many severely injured individuals who are using the GHS, and who were unable to walk in the 5, 10 and 20 plus years post their injuries, are now beginning to stand and walk again for the first time. The GHS helps individuals regain healthy functioning after challenges due to spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, cerebellar degeneration, orthopedic, neurological, lower extremity amputation, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other ambulation, gait and balance rehabilitation issues. The GHS is used world-wide in a broad spectrum of out-patient, in-patient, and home enriched environments.

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