Don’t Look Back – the inspiring story of Danny & Shelly

Don't Look Back. Shelly now walks a mile three days a week using the gait trainer shown here.Danny Long became a 24×7 caretaker for his wife, Shelly, after a botched spinal cord operation in 2008. The surgery was supposed to improve the failing sense of touch in her hands and feet, but instead it left her a quadriplegic with no feeling at all, except the severe pain in her back.  Afterwards, no doctor would predict that she could ever walk again. But today, with help from her friends and faith, and the loving support of her creative and supportive husband, Shelly walks a mile every three days using the large gait trainer shown.

At some point, Danny decided to document her progress and their therapy journey in a series of videos. One showed how he adapted an old exercise bike to work for someone in a wheelchair. Another showed home-build parallel bars that Shelly used to practice standing and walking. And a third showed the walking harness he made to establish weight bearing safely. There are other videos on his Vimeo page, but the one I include below is a summary of their story.

I thank Danny for sharing this on our Facebook wall, to emphasize that assistance devices can often be made inexpensively at home. I hope you will  share your story too, either on Facebook, by sending me an email, or in the Comments section below.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Look Back – the inspiring story of Danny & Shelly

  1. *Thank you for sharing some of our low-tech stuff 🙂

    Shelly is an Inspiration to me, her humble husband.

    Danny Long

    1. Besides sharing examples of home-built assistance devices, Danny & Shelly’s story includes so many emotions, including horror, depression, anger, bitterness, abandonment, addiction, sorrow, recovery, hope, prayer, faith, love, humor, frustration with justice denied, joy of purpose found, new found friends, humility, and thankfulness for the simplest things such as watching a breeze blow the grass and leaves.

      His comment above includes a link to his website, which uses video examples to illustrate problems in our healthcare system. Given all that he and Shelly have gone through, and their understandable bitterness over problems and abuses still in the system, it’s inspiring to see how well their love and positive attitude has held up. Thanks again, Danny.

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    EDITOR: Non-germane URL link removed

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