Dallas teen walks at graduation after spinal cord injury

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Kendall Long’s life changed in February of 2022. She suffered a spinal cord stroke that left her without sensation in both of her legs.

The condition was serious, but Children’s Health, where she was treated, says she continued to steadfast in her intensive physical therapy to walk again. That therapy happened at Children's Health Specialty Center Rehabilitation and Therapy Services unit. She was determined to walk again, and as a result of her determination, Kendall was able to walk across the stage at her high school graduation. 

Her physical therapist, Deeandra Pedroza, said it was all about her will to get better.

“Getting to be a member of Kendall’s care team has been one of the most rewarding and remarkable experiences of my career,” Pedroza said. “As physical therapists, our job is to guide our patients toward optimal function in the safest way possible, while empowering them to push past their limitations. As it is, navigating high school and being a teenager are tough enough experiences in themselves. Adding in a change in one’s physical functioning requires a level of resilience and grit that many people don’t ever exhibit. Working with Kendall challenged my therapeutic creativity and often required me to take a different approach than usual in order to make small progress toward big goals. Kendall is a source of light and creative energy who will continue to accomplish amazing things in her lifetime. Her journey has served as a reminder of why I chose to be a part of this beautiful and fulfilling profession. ”

Long went through two months of treatment and therapy learning how to stand and walk again.

Her hard work paid off because she walked across the stage to receive the diploma she earned from New Tech High School at B.F. Darrell is in Dallas.

She plans to attend Texas A&M Commerce in the fall to study veterinarian medicine.

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