Wells mum left paralyzed after bizarre gym accident

Wells mum left paralyzed after bizarre gym accident

Emily Maki was performing an exercise she had done hundreds of times before when her life changed in an instant. Today, her community is rallying around her.

Those who know Emily Maki best would describe her as a light, a ray of sunshine and an incredible teammate.

Those same people have now rallied around Wells’ young mother after a freak accident at the gym left her paralyzed from the waist down in September.

Maki was doing a “clean and press,” a common workout in the CrossFit community. The lift involves picking up a weight from the floor and pressing it overhead before bringing the weight back to the floor. Maki lost control of her weight as she was halfway up.

“Talking about the accident itself is always very traumatic for me. What I was doing [was] something I had literally done 600 times before,” Maki said. “I woke up every morning… and trained with my friends every day. I was doing something that I love to do, that I do regularly and… the world [changed] That day.”

Maki continued, “I remember the ambulance ride with my boss. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. I remember crossing train tracks and being an agony.”

Since the accident, Maki has been focusing on her recovery at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

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“It’s been kind of like a rollercoaster of emotions, you know, some days I definitely cry about my legs and my lifestyle,” Maki said. “I had this very carefree lifestyle that I had before the accident. But other days I’m like, ‘I get it’, you know what I mean, like, I definitely understood.”

“It’s a challenge, everything is going to be totally different but, 100%, I have that,” added Maki.

This recovery process has included everything from learning new daily tasks like getting in and out of your wheelchair, to using equipment known as a Lokomat, to help with mobility and possible sensations. later down the road.

According to his physical therapist, the Lokomat is a robotic exoskeleton that allows Maki to walk on a treadmill, by strapping him into a harness and lifting him over the treadmill.

Her legs are also attached to suspenders which act as joints and move Maki’s legs for her. The robot does most of the work, and as progress progresses, Maki will rely less and less on the machine to get around.

“It’s kind of the first step in neurological recovery after spinal cord injury,” said Maki’s physical therapist, Theresa.

“Research shows he does a kind of walking motion with pressure…that should trigger things in his body potentially to help his nerves, spinal cord and brain work together and wake up a bit – see if we can get neurological recovery out of it,” Theresa said.

“It’s weird when I look down and see my feet moving,” Maki said while using the machine. “It’s really weird because I can’t feel them. I can just see them. So it’s kind of wild. It’s also hard to stand…I really have to commit everything because it’s your heart.”

Maki kept everyone at home in Maine posted via her Instagram account, “One More Rep For Em”. Her gym community has particularly encouraged her from afar since the very beginning.

André and Katie Mercier own the gym where Emily’s accident happened.

“Everyone was heartbroken. We just had to pull people out and tell them one-on-one because we knew everyone would be really shaken up,” Katie Mercier said. “So a lot of sadness at first because it sucks right away, but then, as they do, they come together and say, ‘What can we do? It’s one of the coolest things about our gym, it’s all these assistants.”

These wizards created a GoFundMe page, bumper stickers, and even a workout called “Maki.” They did anything and everything to help raise awareness and most importantly, money for Maki and her son Eben.

“She’s going to be in a wheelchair all the time, so everything will have to be accessible for that,” Mercier said. “It’s important for her to be as independent as possible, so you talk about being able to reach the cupboards in the kitchen, being able to walk through doors, being able to use the bathroom and the shower and stuff like that by you. We start looking for a car for her, and what it takes for her to have a suitable car so she can be mobile and hopefully find a job she can do and take Eben like she normally would.”

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Despite her new reality, Maki said she looked forward to her new normal. She considers her wheelchair her “new gym” because work has always been an important part of her life.

“Stupid things like putting on my shoes, putting on my pants. It’s work, but I have to be good and I try my best to do everything to the best of my ability,” Maki said. “And it’s my gym, it seems pretty tiny, it seems pretty silly, but it’s my life and I’m going to make the most of it – it’s just going to look different.”

When asked how she kept this perspective, Maki replied:

“You have to, you have to choose. Every face you see in a day, every interaction you have, you get to choose how you treat that person and how you leave them, and that’s a choice. And don’t don’t get me wrong, there are days when you think “I’m going to crack”, you know, I’m going to have a little crying session or a big crying session because life is hard, but when you get out of all this , it’s all perspective, you know. I’m here, I can choose, I can choose to put a smile on my face and nine times out of 10 when you put a smile on your face, you feel better.”

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