Cutting-edge therapy helps Jack Jablonski crawl - KMSP-TV

Cutting-edge therapy helps Jack Jablonski crawl

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

After he was paralyzed in a high school hockey game, doctors doubted Jack Jablonski would be able to move his arms and legs much. Last week, we showed you how he can now move his hand -- but some cutting-edge therapy is helping him to an even bigger achievement

Some of the most amazing transformations a human body can make are happening with a little help from a climbing harness. That's part of the therapy that led Jablonski to his latest milestone -- assisted crawling.

That's right. He's now moving his legs, and Rachel Kath-Dvorak told FOX 9 News he's not the only one at the Courage Center who is making those same strides.

"We're seeing a lot of gains with all of our clients," she said.

The intensive therapy program that is generating the results is called ABLE, which stands for activity-based locomotor exercise. The idea behind the success is that if you keep the muscles and nerves of a paralyzed person active by keeping them firing, the neural signals will find new paths through the damage.

In Jablonski's case, therapists believe there are still some neurons in his spinal cord that are intact. Now, they are making new connections and learning to carry new signals.

"With this program in general, we -- at this point -- don't know where the limit on expectations is," Kath-Dvorak said.

So far, the clients keep surprising themselves. One who had been paralyzed for six years can now move her legs and walk with assistance thanks to the program.

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