Josh was a junior in high school with a promising football career on the horizon when he seriously injured himself in a weightlifting accident. The nerves in his legs were severely compressed, leaving him unable to walk. Josh’s dream of playing college football was in jeopardy unless he could recover fully from his injury.

He asked his trainer at the United States Performance Center for a recommendation. The owner, David, told him to check out KCP Physical Therapy because of their success with athletes. Josh took him up on the suggestion and says that “the outcome was amazing.”

Unable to Walk

“I started out with a lot of limitations,” Josh says. “I couldn’t feel anything below my hips. I was unable to walk properly. My back was pretty weak, and my core was really weak.”

Josh needed to learn to walk again.

He began rehab with physical therapist Joyce Kight when he came to KCP.

“I was a little scared,” he says. “Especially being seventeen. I didn’t really know what was going to happen from there. But after my first consultation with Joyce, she seemed like she knew what she was talking about and had a very good idea about what I was going through. It was reassuring. I knew that I was in the right hands and that my goals could be accomplished.”

A Team on a Mission

The recovery process involved building Josh’s strength back one step at a time. Initially, the top concern was getting sensation back in his legs. From there, the progression involved manual therapy, fundamental strengthening exercises while moving through basic developmental positions, dry needling, ice, and electrical stimulation to assist in nerve regeneration. Next, they began advanced strengthening with sports performance therapy, proprioception, and return to sport activities for footwork, speed, and positional changes.

“There were a ton of things that she had me doing,” Josh says. “Every two times I went, there would be something else added to the plan. Obviously, mentally, it was a little tough. If there was ever anything that was really bothering me though or I felt like I was going too hard that day, Joyce always dialed it down and really listened to me.”

“Working with Josh was a joy and a privilege,” says Joyce. “I took ownership in his recovery. It was moving to see a young man like Josh going through such a traumatic injury while never complaining or feeling sorry for himself. Every day in PT he gave 110% to his recovery -even when the most basic activities were challenging. We were a team on a mission. Helping him to regain his ability to walk, run and return to sport and life was one of my greatest thrills as a clinician.”

Josh says that the support he received from Joyce, the staff at KCP, his family, and friends got him through the difficult days. Being seventeen and using a walker with tennis balls on it made him feel “a little elderly,” and he considers the injury to be the most traumatic thing he has ever gone through in his young life. Motivated to succeed, he dedicated himself to the process and was able to advance from walking to running to body-weight workouts to light-weight workouts.

“Fast forward to today, I’m actually playing football at Davidson College, Division 1,” he says. “I have no limitations and I get to do everything that any athlete can do. It’s really nice and I’m very grateful.”

Thankful for KCP

Josh says that his favorite thing about KCP was the care that he received from Joyce. “She helped me the whole time,” he says. “When you go to rehab for so long and multiple times a week, it has to be at a place that you’re comfortable being in for a long period of time. KCP was almost like a second home. You form bonds with those people. On top of that, it was a place I saw results.

“I’m not sure – if I had gone to other places – that I would be here today,” he says. “I want them to know how thankful I am. Beyond football, just the fact that I can walk and still function normally – that’s something I’m very grateful for. I would never take that for granted again, and I’ll always have that whole staff in mind when I’m accomplishing all the stuff that I’d like to do.”