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Jarrad fights back from horror bike crash

HAPPIER times for Jarrad Quinn who is regaining movement in his body through exercise after being left a quadriplegic by a dirt bike accident. He is raising money for a standing wheelchair.
HAPPIER times for Jarrad Quinn who is regaining movement in his body through exercise after being left a quadriplegic by a dirt bike accident. He is raising money for a standing wheelchair. Warren Lynam

LYING in Princess Alexandra Spinal Unit for 16 months following a dirt bike accident in November, 2010, left him with quadriplegia, former builder Jarrad Quinn's future looked grim.

He was being fed through a tube, was unable to speak, could not sit or hold his head erect and lacked all body movement.

 

Jarrad Quinn with his parents Derek Laird and Judy recovering in hospital after his horrific injury.
Jarrad Quinn with his parents Derek Laird and Judy recovering in hospital after his horrific injury. Contributed

Jarrad now speaks, can breath manually, can hold his head erect without fainting and is sitting up for longer periods in his wheelchair each day.

Incredibly he has also managed to regain movement of his arms, hands and one leg and is strengthening his body with a goal of one day being able to stand with assistance.

It's been no easy road with one rehabilitative exercise in Brisbane going terribly wrong leaving him with a fractured femur, an injury that severely disrupted his physical and emotional progress.

Now Jarrad looks forward to three gym visits a week where he is driving himself to achieve new goals for strength and movement he hopes may one day see him walk again.

The family's Palmwoods home has been designed to cater for his wheelchair, but Jarrad is now eyeing with some hope a walking cane he still can't explain why he bought several years before his accident

Much of his transformation has come in the past nine months after discovering a gym five minutes down the road which Jarrad says has done more for him than three years of twice-weekly visits to a specialised quad and paraplegic gym in Brisbane.

He now speaks in terms of repetitions achieved and weights pushed. He has regained movement in the left side of his body, is now moving the toes of his right foot and has increasingly stronger movement and range in his right arm.

"I'm more than a little bit happier," Jarrad said.

"It's three times a week I can get out and talk the boys at the gym."

That gym, Divinity Health + Fitness, has him focused on increasing his strength and range of movement.

Despite the gains he has periods of extreme pain he needs to fight through each day.

"It's tough going but critically important to me and my family's future," he said.

"The impact of my care on both their (his parents) lifestyle and their finances has been immense."

Jarrad's endurance and confidence has reached the point he is now focused on his next goal, to stand erect in a LEVO standing wheelchair.

 

JARRAD Quinn tries out the LEVO standing wheelchair which he hopes to be able to buy if he can raise sufficient funds.
JARRAD Quinn tries out the LEVO standing wheelchair which he hopes to be able to buy if he can raise sufficient funds.

 

 

The chair would elevate the 6'2" Jarrad to a safe, comfortable standing position and allow him to interact with the activities of a normal daily life.

It would also enable him to look at someone at eye level once again, reach objects he requires, reduce pain levels exacerbated by prolonged periods sitting in a wheelchair or lying in bed and improve blood circulation, bone density and bowel function.

From those dark days of late 2010 Jarrad is now looking to further increase shoulder movement, to be able to transfer himself from chair to bed and to maximise his strength, range of movement to maximise his body function and to improve independence.

He is now dreaming of one day driving a car again and being able to manoeuvre his manual wheelchair.

As with everything LEVO wheelchairs don't come cheap.

Jarrad has started a fund-raising campaign through gofundme.com "Jarrad Quinn - Let Me Stand Again" to help pay for the $37,000 combined wheel chair, electric standing device which is increased strength and core fitness would allow him to use.

"My right arm is really starting to kick in," he said. "My lower spine bone density has improved dramatically."

In Princess Alexandra Hospital he said he had been just living day to day.

Now he is pulling 84kgs in the gym with a goal to reach 100kg and doing leg presses in 830 reps at a session moving 7.5kgs.

Jarrad's mum hopes eventually what he is achieving will inspire others who have suffered traumatic injury.

For now though she's just marvelling at the transformation unfolding before her eyes.

Topics:  dirt bike divinity health + fitness gofundme gym levo chair miracle palmwoods princess alexandra hospital quadraplegic recovery

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