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Rehabilitation centre helps clients relearn how to walk

WATCH ABOVE: Taylor Lindsay -Noel had big hopes of going to the London Olympics, but in 2008, at the age of 14, her dreams were shattered after a terrible accident attempting a difficult dismount from the uneven bars. She broke her neck and severed her spinal cord. Today she's finds comfort and hope at a specialize neurological rehabilitation centre called Aim2Walk. Susan Hay has the story in this week’s Making a Difference.

TORONTO — Aim2Walk is a neurological rehabilitation centre that combines advanced robotic technology and skillful therapists with an aim of getting their clients to do the impossible.

Like any young person, Taylor Lindsay-Noel had big plans for her future. She had hopes of becoming an Olympic Canadian National Gymnast at the London Olympics. But her goals were cut short after a devastating accident in 2008 changed her life forever.

“I was 14-years old, and I was training alongside two other gymnasts at the time,” said Lindsay-Noel.

“My coach approached me to do a skill and I expressed to him that I was very nervous. But he told me I should trust him, and on the second attempt at the skill, I broke my neck and severed my spinal cord.”

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Although Taylor’s Olympic dreams were shattered that day, she still had goals for a bright future and hopes to achieve them with the help of Aim2Walk.

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“We created it because we saw a lack of continuity from when somebody has a severe injury or has been diagnosed with a devastating disease,” said Matt Sanchez, co-founder of Aim2Walk. “They aren’t given a lot of hope, they don’t have a lot of options.”

Susan Hay and Taylor Lindsay-Noel at Aim2Walk on Oct. 5, 2015.
Susan Hay and Taylor Lindsay-Noel at Aim2Walk on Oct. 5, 2015. Global News

Specializing in neurological rehabilitation, Aim2Walk is a place for people like Taylor to realize their physical potential.

“My goals are to get out of this power wheelchair,” said Lindsay-Noel.

“If I’m able to get in a manual wheelchair full time, it will change my entire life. I just continue to keep my body in shape so one day if science changes, I’ll be ready for those advancements.”

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Three times a week, Taylor uses the Lokomat; the most advanced robotic technology and gait training device. While using this machine, Taylor can watch herself walking with the assistance of robotic legs.

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“It’s helping her flexibility, it’s helping her bone strength, her blood flow circulation. It also helps her emotionally and cognitively,” said Sanchez.

“Aim2Walk is vital to my happiness,” said Lindsay-Noel. “They’re always welcoming and ready to push you and your body to your limits without hurting you and making sure that you get the best out of what you’re still able to do.”