Monday, September 10, 2007
Medical Reports: Healing Waters
After a paralyzing spinal chord injury, a South Florida lifeguard was told he would never walk again, but life in the water, gave him the skills to beat those odds. Seven's Richard Lemus shows us the power of Healing Waters.
WSVN -- Water hydrates, it calms, it even brings joy. For Roy Cady water is a savior.
Roy Cady: "In the water everything is wonderful."
From life-guarding to teaching swim lessons, Roy's life has revolved around a pool since he was a teenager. Seven years ago, a spinal chord injury threatened to wash away his life on land and water.
Dr. Cindy Marika: "His nerves were damaged. Nerves repair very slowly if at all. His prognosis was he would probably not be able to walk anymore."
Roy Cady: "I have no feeling from the waist down and back or from the knees down in front."
Paralyzed, he was sentenced to life in a wheelchair. Something that Roy was not willing to accept.
Roy Cady: "It was upsetting at first, but I was determined. They were wrong, and I was going to walk."
So Roy turned to what he knew best, the water, and what he considers it's healing powers.
Roy Cady: "I started therapy on my own in the water, and, in a weightless environment, I was able to do things I wouldn't be able to do otherwise. I started in the water floating and just concentrating on trying to get the feet to move and the legs to move."
He then pushed to walk. First in deep water then in shallow water. Until, finally, he was able to go from walking in water to walking on land.
Dr. Cindy Marika: "So he doesn't have the feeling but he has the movement, and it's hard. Imagine walking but not feeling anything. He can't feel when his feet hit the ground."
Physically it was painful and challenging, but Roy kept pushing until he was walking totally on his own.
Dr. Cindy Marika: "Every time I saw him he had less and less equipment. He first came with a walker, the crutches, then a cane. Now he walks independently."
Roy Cady: "I knew I was going to walk. I knew I would be back to doing everything that I could."
Everything from teaching here at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex to surfing trips in Costa Rica with his sons.
Roy Cady: "I walk a little funny, and everybody makes fun of me, but I don't care."
What he does care about is the living waters that have made his life possible.
Richard Lemus: "Doctors really can't explain Roy's progress, but for Roy the explanation is simple: determination and the water therapy."