Two years ago, doctors told now 51-year-old Craig Scribner he’d never walk again after a freak accident at work left him paralyzed.
“I was working on a drive shaft on a car that was hooked to a trailer when another guy came down and released the wench that I had hooked to the car,” said Craig.
Within seconds, Craig saw the car rolling towards him and in that instant, he knew it would crush him.
“I remember everything was so slow. The guy took off running and about that time it grabbed my face and it bent me over backward and broke my back.”
Craig tried to move as fast as he could, but the car then grabbed his legs and bent him over backward again; this time causing multiple breaks in his back (seven total), popping his lung and breaking all his ribs on one side.
“I just closed my eyes and said a prayer,” remembered Craig.
It took first responders almost an hour to get Craig out and he was flown straight to Dallas when he was rushed into surgery.
“When I woke up after surgery the doctors told me I’d be a paraplegic for the rest of my life,” said Craig with tears in his eyes.
“It’s pretty rough knowing you’d lay there for the rest of your life and never walk again.”
Craig’s sister, Valerie Powell never left his side after the accident and when Craig said he wanted to be close to her, Valerie began the search for a rehabilitation center and found Stillhouse Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Paris.
“I was dead from my arms down but I couldn’t handle the thought of never walking again or being able to take care of myself, so I would hook a wire around my foot and try to get my feet to move.”
But the doctors kept telling him to stop because he would never walk again.
Once Craig was moved to Stillhouse Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, he began working with physical therapist Leslie Bullard and physical therapist assistant, Le’Andra Chandler.
“A lot of the time the therapy process starts with working toward function like sitting up in bed, transferring to the wheelchair and so we worked towards those functional things,” said Le’Andra. “But he was just not going to be satisfied with functioning from a wheelchair and was determined that he was going to walk himself out of this facility.”
“Even when we would think he was starting to plateau as far as his progress, which is typically when we discharge in therapy, he would push himself even further and meet more goals, so we kept him on therapy for quite a while,” added Leslie
A year later…Craig stood for the first time.
“I owe it to them,” Craig said holding back tears. “They say it’s me, but I owe it to them. I know I had to push hard but these girls pushed me harder.”
“It was his perseverance and determination that kept him surpassing the goals. It’s very rare and we’re very proud of him,” added Le’Andra.
Although Craig could put weight on his feet and started the process of walking again, it wasn’t easy and, at times, a very painful process.
“We would hear him when he was coming down the hallways grunting and moaning,” laughed Le’Andra. “But he never gave up. Somedays we’d have to put towels around his neck because he was sweating so much but he never stopped; he kept pushing himself.”
Now two years later after joining the Stillhouse family, Craig is walking out of there and going home.
“It’s hard to think about leaving here, I always thought I can’t wait to leave but now it’s time to go I don’t know what to do. These are the people I’ve talked to and seen for the past two years and it’s hard to think of what I am going to do next; I never thought there was going to be a next,” said Craig.
Craig can’t thank Leslie and Le’Andra enough and praises Stillhouse Rehabilitation for their continued help.
“My insurance cut me off not long after I start therapy here but the Director of Rehab and the facility allowed me to stay,” said Craig.
Leslie added, “The saw the progress Craig had made and it may be our choice to continue to work with Craig for free but it is the Director of Rehab and the facility who allowed us to do that.”
Leslie and Le’Andra also credit Craig with going the extra mile and doing extra therapy at Xzact Therapy and Aquatics in Paris on top of what he was doing with them.
“This place is the best rehab facility I have ever seen. Everyone knows their jobs, knows how to go from step to step and push you the right way and everyone is so friendly. It’s a good atmosphere here and I can’t thank them enough,” Craig said.
Now that Craig is heading home, he plans on living with his sister until he can get an apartment.
‘I can’t wait to get my truck fixed to be able to drive again. It hasn’t been started in two years but that’s my next goal,” smiled Craig.
When asked what advice he’d give others who have been told they will never walk again, Craig said NEVER GIVE UP.
“Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do it. Don’t ever give up. If I walked 10 feet one day I’d make sure to try to walk 11 steps the next day. Grab the resources that are behind you and keep going. You CAN do anything. If you believe in the Lord and you believe you can do it and have people behind you, you can do anything.”