Brain Injury Recovery Through Hydroworx
After Bloomsburg University student Jackie Lithgow suffered a devastating traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2014, he was left without the ability to walk or talk. More than anything he could no longer continue the life of an average college student.
Yet he was determined to persevere towards his goal of regaining his independence with the help of his family.
In the face of an enormous challenge, Jackie began the marathon journey toward recovering everything he had lost after trying to break up a fraternity fight which almost his life. At the same time, his mother began researching innovative treatments to complement his occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreational therapy, and speech therapy appointments.
That’s how the Lithgow’s were introduced to aqua therapy at The Hetrick Center.
Jackie remembers his early sessions in the pool at the Hetrick Center. Unable to carry his body weight on land, he was wheeled onto the pool’s movable floor and slowly lowered into the warm water still in his wheelchair. Once surrounded and buoyed by the water, he felt a sensation he hadn’t enjoyed in a long time; the freedom to move.
"Mom, it feels like I can walk again!"
As he recalls, he turned to his mother and said after one treatment, “It feels like I can walk again.” It was a dream statement at the time, but ultimately an achievable feat for the young man with so much support and determination.
Gradually, Jackie moved from living in a wheelchair to needing a walker and then progressed to moving freely on his own without any assistive devices. In the pool, his accomplishments were equally impressive. With the help of the underwater treadmill, he re-learned how to walk and move properly.
“Once we added aqua therapy… that’s when things really took off,” explains Jackie’s mother with a grin. Watch more of this incredible case study in Part II of our exclusive video focused on Jackie’s return to health.