Recovering quadriplegic returns to the stage - KMSP-TV

Recovering quadriplegic returns to the stage

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Vince and Latrice Rutley Vince and Latrice Rutley
Flyer information for 'The Street Corner.' Flyer information for 'The Street Corner.'
(WJBK) - A 28-year-old man from Clarkston is told he'll never walk again after a tragic accident, but with modern medicine and raw determination he's working to prove doctors wrong.

Vince Rutley was newly engaged, learning to act and had just started standup comedy. Then, one day, his brother had car trouble on northbound I-75 near M-59. As Rutley was pulling over to help jumpstart the battery, he was hit by a truck.

He says he was tossed around inside his vehicle and his head was busted open - but his neck snapping is what did the most damage to his body. Doctors say he will never move his arms, sit up or walk again, and initially thought he would "be a vegetable," as Rutley puts it.

But, beginning to recover, just a month after the accident his fiance, Latrice, married him in a small ceremony in the chapel at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.

Now, two-and-a-half years later, Rutley continues to surpass everyone's expectations as he makes a greater recovery. He's using his arms and gaining control of his wrists.
 
Certified athletic Trainer Marcus Ebejer says what's exciting about Rutley's rehab is its unpredictability.
 
"The one thing about the spinal cord no case is the same. Everybody grows back at different levels; everybody gains function at a different level," Ebejer says.

Meanwhile, Latrice has taken on the role of Rutley's wife, and so much more.

"I'm making sure that I give him the best care but I'm also making sure that I'm the best wife, so that's definitely a challenge," she says.

Now, Rutley is back on the stage acting, which he never thought he'd do. Someday, he plans on walking back onto the stage.
 
Rutley's play, which he wrote and plays the lead, is called 'The Street Corner.' You can catch a performance Saturday, April 19 at the Wayne State University Community Arts Auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m.
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