Injured Gymnast to be Featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

After his 2008 spinal cord injury, Brian Keefer, 23, has made strides and the “Extreme Makeover” renovations should help his recovery.

Keefer was the president of the gymnastics team at Lock Haven University when he fractured and dislocated vertebrae in his neck in a gymnastics accident leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

After his injury, Keefer had great neck control but he could only slightly shrug his shoulders and couldn’t sit up on his own. The staff at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute assessed Keefer’s level of functioning and tailored programs for him. The institute uses Activity Based Restorative Therapies to prompt the remaining neural cells to remember how to move. The therapies also promote the growth of new nervous system cells.

Keefer’s progress has been slow but steady and he has maintained a positive attitude throughout. He can now use his hand to operate his wheelchair and sit up on his own.

Keefer and his family will stay in Colorado Springs while their home is under construction and his occupational therapist, Jennifer Silvestri, helped the “Extreme Makeover” producers design their new home. Silvestri suggested environmental controls and ramps, bathroom upgrades and voice activated lights and doors. She also educated the producers on the benefits of a therapy pool with a lift. The buoyancy of the water supports his weight so he can perform activities otherwise impossible on land.

HydroWorx pool of Middletown, donated a $40,000 T-Series indoor pool complete with underwater treadmill, jets and an underwater video camera for him to monitor his movements.

The Keefer’s episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” will air on ABC Sunday, September 25, 2011.

Metier Law Firm – Denver Injury Attorneys

Leave a Reply