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Innovative Health Care Magazine

63 InnovativeHealthMag.com Drew Clayborn is a 21-year old student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is a mathematical biology major, lives in a dormitory and is active in many school events. This is average for a young man Drew’s age, but Drew isn’t just an “average young man.” Rather, he is an exceptional person who has not let the results of random events dictate his life. In 2010, Drew was practicing a backflip for a school musical play at Walled Lake Central High when the unthinkable occurred: the sophomore landed wrong. His neck was broken; a C1-2 spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed and breathing with a ventilator. He was 15 years old. This is average for a young man Drew’s age, but Drew isn’t just an ‘average’ young man” Drew was transported to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan; he remained there for 3 1/2 months-- on the rehabilitation floor of the intensive care unit. He spent the ensuing school year relearning how to use his body while his family came to terms with their new reality of constantly being by his side. Although circumstances in his life had changed, Drew was determined to continue living his life. His ability to look past the difficulties he had encountered and to envision what his goals were going to be made a huge difference in his recovery process. Drew returned to school, traveling the halls in his wheelchair, undeterred. His father, LaDon Clayborn, points to his son’s refusal to quit Walled Lake Central’s marching band as an indicator that he was making progress. After the accident, Drew transitioned from the tuba to using a mouthpiece-activated MIDI synthesizer attached to his wheelchair. Once his body had stabilized, Drew began intensive rehabilitation to regain as much movement as possible, while adjusting to the realities of his injury. Through rehab, Drew learned new ways of dealing with the world. However, his annual physical therapy allotment, through his insurance, was only for 36 days of treatment. This was therapy with the AxioBionic garments every day. It’s hard work – I won’t lie. But these products give me the ability to sustain my life – no – I guess they give me the ability to live my life.” Mr. Clayborn speaks of him with discernible pride: “Drew is not depressed or looking for pity. He has no regrets and no remorse. What Drew has is a belief and determination to live and make a difference in this world. He is happy and grateful for the life that he has and if that doesn’t inspire you, then nothing will!” For further information about Drew Clayborn’s journey, visit his website at www.drewcrew.org. “ “ woefully inadequate. In addition, the exercises that Drew was doing seemed to have little impact on his body. His mother, Carolyn, recalls the health challenges he faced – from his physical limitations like losing 50 percent of his muscle mass to high blood pressure – as some of the biggest obstacles to overcome early in his recovery. Through research, his father discovered AxioBionics, a pioneer in therapeutic garments for patient rehabilitation, located in Ann Arbor. Drew was examined and fitted by an AxioBionics certified technician and began to use the garments. “The change was immediate.” he says. “Since I began using the AxioBionics garments, I have had no pressure sores (always a big concern). I have good bone density and good muscle tone.” When asked what pieces of equipment he uses, Drew laughed and said, “All of them! I don’t have to wear any braces on my hands or feet though (to keep the muscles from contracting) because the garments exercise my muscles so well that my fingers and toes have never started to curl up.” In addition to attending classes and living away from home part time, Drew still does several hours of therapy every night and every morning before school. All of this keeps his body as healthy as possible. “I do five hours of physical I


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