Because of Siskin Hospital, I can race again
April 30, 2020
Always one for adventure and certainly no stranger to danger, Will Posey was doing what he loved – preparing for a big race.
He’d just taken his bike out for a test run when the unthinkable happened. He crashed, landing on his head, folding it at the neck like a taco. A week later he became uneasy at the tingling sensation in his legs and toes. His legs had become like rubber bands, hardly able to support him.
His doctor immediately ordered an MRI and when he saw the results, scheduled Will for emergency surgery. As he recovered, the surgeon told him he was surprised Will wasn’t a quadriplegic, but that he would probably never walk again. He’d burst fractured his T3 and bone shards had damaged his spinal cord. He also told Will he’d be going to Siskin Hospital for therapy.
Extremely weak from the surgery and in a lot of pain, Will was also in shock from the rapid unfolding of events. He remembers how stunned he felt at his first Siskin Hospital meal because he couldn’t open a ketchup packet or swallow his favorite food, mashed potatoes.
For nearly two months, Will and his therapists fought to regain the use of his arms and addressed an undiagnosed brain injury from the accident. Will had hoped to walk out of the hospital, but was happy nevertheless just to be pain-free and have the strength to transfer from wheelchair to his van. Realistically, he thought the motorcycle riding he loved was over for him.
But Siskin Hospital’s Outpatient Therapy Program gave him renewed hope. As he started regaining lower body strength with the help of the Lokomat, Will also began to gain confidence he could ride again. He asked his father to strap him on a pit bike, and with a friend videoing, he took off. By chance, a representative of the Winter X Games saw the video and invited him to compete in their next event. Eleven months later, on a snow bike with a specially-built cage, Will qualified for and raced in the Winter X Games in Aspen, becoming the first Georgian to win an X Games medal.
“Because of Siskin Hospital, I can race again,” says Will.
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