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Greenville teen paralyzed in diving accident continues recovery in new therapy program

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A Greenville teen continues to make leaps and bounds in his recovery after a diving accident. Austin Somerville was paralyzed when he dove into a shallow part of a pool in the spring of 2020. “If I look back, in a hospital bed a little over Two years ago, not being able to move anything, it’s just crazy,” Austin said. “This is crazy.” Austin says he once wondered if he’d ever get out of the hospital bed. Over the last two years, Austin has gone through intense physical therapy at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, making extreme strides. “It’s just crazy at the moment,” he said. “Like yeah. I just can’t believe I’m doing this.” More than two years later, his recovery continues. Austin is going through a rigorous therapy program for four months at BARWIS Performance Center in Florida. “It’s the most intense therapy I’ve had, and it’s just tying the whole body together,” Austin said. He says the program is focused on his reprogramming his entire body, helping him regain muscle strength and relearn movements. “When I’m in therapy, they’re trying to work off the braces, so they’ll take the knee cage off,” he said. take the ankle brace off to try to get the leg going.” Austin is hitting milestones, slowly yet surely, that he once thought he may never reach again. “I’ve actually been able to take a couple steps independently. now, they’ll have to be right there,” he said. “They’ll have to be right there, because it’s not safe yet, but it’s definitely amazing.” Not every day is a triumph for Austin though. Working day in and day out, therapy leaves him physically and emotionally exhausted most days. “Everyone’s recovery is different,” he said. “There are people who are better than me. There are people who are also a lot worse than me. to realize that, Austin. You are very blessed that your body is cooperating, and not everyone gets that chance.” Austin relies on his faith and the support of his family, friends and community to help him push through those tough days. He keeps his sights set on one long-term goal. “My goal is just a year from now is to walk onto the Clemson campus,” Austin said. While Austin says walking isn’t his form of transportation quite yet, he says his journey isn’t. ‘t just about himself. “I just ask that when people pray and think about me, they pray and think about everyone else with a spinal cord injury,” he said. Austin says they’re working with doctors to possibly try a new regenerative treatment one day. Austin plans to graduate high school in December. His mom says he’s applied to Clemson University and hopes to go into bioengineering.

A Greenville teen continues to make leaps and bounds in his recovery after a diving accident.

Austin Somerville was paralyzed when he dove into a shallow part of a pool in the spring of 2020.

“If I look back, in a hospital bed a little over two years ago, not being able to move anything, it’s just crazy,” Austin said. “This is crazy.”

Austin says he once wondered if he’d ever get out of the hospital bed. Over the last two years, Austin has gone through intense physical therapy at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, making extreme strides.

“It’s just crazy at the moment,” he said. “Like yeah. I just can’t believe I’m doing this.”

More than two years later, his recovery continues. Austin is going through a rigorous therapy program for four months at BARWIS Performance Center in Florida.

“It’s the most intense therapy I’ve had, and it’s just tying the whole body together,” Austin said.

He says the program is focused on his reprogramming his entire body, helping him regain muscle strength and relearn movements.

“When I’m in therapy, they’re trying to work off the braces, so they’ll take the knee cage off,” he said. “They’ll take the ankle brace off to try to get the leg going.”

Austin is hitting milestones, slowly yet surely, that he once thought he may never reach again.

“I’ve actually been able to take a couple steps independently. now, they’ll have to be right there,” he said. “They’ll have to be right there, because it’s not safe yet, but it’s definitely amazing.”

Not every day is a triumph for Austin though. Working day in and day out, therapy leaves him physically and emotionally exhausted most days.

“Everyone’s recovery is different,” he said. “There are people who are better than me. There are people who are also a lot worse than me. to realize that, Austin. You are very blessed that your body is cooperating, and not everyone gets that chance.”

Austin relies on his faith and the support of his family, friends and community to help him push through those tough days. He keeps his sights set on one long-term goal.

“My goal is just a year from now is to walk onto the Clemson campus,” Austin said.

While Austin says walking isn’t his form of transportation quite yet, he says his journey isn’t just about himself.

“I just ask that when people pray and think about me, they pray and think about everyone else with a spinal cord injury,” he said.

Austin says they’re working with doctors to possibly try a new regenerative treatment one day.

Austin plans to graduate high school in December. His mom says he’s applied to Clemson University and hopes to go into bioengineering.

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