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'Ben' There, Doing That

Updated: Friday, May 23 2014, 10:24 AM CDT

While most teenagers dream of a new ride when they turn 16, Ben Waker was getting adjusted to these wheels. Because 15 months before his 16th birthday, Ben's life was re-routed down a much different road.
 
"I was face down in the water," Ben recalled. "I was trying to paddle to get up and breathe but I couldn't."
 
A surfing accident broke Ben's sixth and seventh vertebrae. He had no feeling and no movement. He was 14 years old and paralyzed.
 
"He knew we were there," said Ben's mother Patty. "We reassured him we would do whatever it takes, however long it takes to get him better."
 
There's nothing stronger than a mother's love. Everything is bigger in Texas. Bigger and stronger. That sure sounds like a football player doesn't it?

Doug English, the legendary Longhorns defensive end and College Football Hall of Famer has tackled a new career. As the President of the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation, English gives patients with spinal cord injuries an option for therapy and recovery that is virtually unparalleled in the United States. He personally invited the Wakers to Austin.
 
"There's a place for Ben to go to get better and to get everything back he can get," said English. "That's a success story."

Turns out, that was just the first chapter of Waker's success story. Immediately following his accident, Ben's strength was non-existent.

"Basically his body was taken back to infant state," Patty explained.

But less than two years later, after therapy at the Seton Brain and Spine Recovery Center - often more than 5 hours a day, 5 days a week - week after week - Ben is anything but weak.

"I feel like I've made 100 percent progress since last year," Ben said. "I've doubled my strength. I've been able to do so much more."

He can petal - he can stand - and yes, he can even drive a car. His car. An adapted Dodge Avenger. But any good ride is built with quality parts.

"Mom's been everything to this," Ben added. "She's the reason I am where I am today."

Patty refused to take all the credit. "My husband is at home, working hard to keep this all going," she said. "And I have a daughter who's there and she's been wonderful as well. So it's a whole recipe."

Before arriving in Austin last January, Ben could not hold his hand above his head. He's now lifting a whole lot more than just his arm.

"To face your rehabilitation and recovery with such determination and with a smile on your face is just inspiring," English noted.

by Adam Winkler
'Ben' There, Doing That


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Scores & Schedules

September 04, 2015 07:08 GMT

AM Prep-Scores and Skeds

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Thursday's Games

Chicago White Sox 6, Minnesota 4

Kansas City 15, Detroit 7

Friday's Games

Tampa Bay (Odorizzi 6-7) at N.Y. Yankees (Severino 2-2), 7:05 p.m.

Baltimore (U.Jimenez 9-9) at Toronto (Hutchison 13-2), 7:07 p.m.

Cleveland (Kluber 8-13) at Detroit (Lobstein 3-5), 7:08 p.m.

Philadelphia (Morgan 5-4) at Boston (J.Kelly 8-6), 7:10 p.m.

Chicago White Sox (Joh.Danks 6-12) at Kansas City (Medlen 3-0), 8:10 p.m.

Minnesota (Pelfrey 6-8) at Houston (McHugh 14-7), 8:10 p.m.

Seattle (Olmos 1-0) at Oakland (Brooks 1-1), 10:05 p.m.

Texas (M.Perez 2-3) at L.A. Angels (Richards 12-10), 10:05 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Thursday's Games

Washington 15, Atlanta 1

Milwaukee 5, Pittsburgh 3

Colorado 11, San Francisco 3

San Diego 10, L.A. Dodgers 7

Friday's Games

Arizona (Godley 4-0) at Chicago Cubs (Lester 8-10), 2:20 p.m.

Atlanta (Teheran 9-7) at Washington (Roark 4-4), 7:05 p.m.

Milwaukee (Garza 6-14) at Cincinnati (Sampson 2-2), 7:10 p.m.

N.Y. Mets (deGrom 12-7) at Miami (Koehler 8-13), 7:10 p.m.

Philadelphia (Morgan 5-4) at Boston (J.Kelly 8-6), 7:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh (Happ 3-1) at St. Louis (C.Martinez 13-6), 8:15 p.m.

San Francisco (Heston 11-8) at Colorado (J.De La Rosa 8-6), 8:40 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers (Bolsinger 5-3) at San Diego (Shields 1

NFL PRESEASON

Thursday's Games

Green Bay 38, New Orleans 10

Atlanta 20, Baltimore 19

Cincinnati 9, Indianapolis 6

N.Y. Jets 24, Philadelphia 18

Tampa Bay 22, Miami 17

Jacksonville 17, Washington 16

Carolina 23, Pittsburgh 6

Detroit 17, Buffalo 10

N.Y. Giants 12, New England 9

Tennessee 24, Minnesota 17

Chicago 24, Cleveland 0

Dallas 21, Houston 14

Kansas City 24, St. Louis 17

Arizona 22, Denver 20

Seattle 31, Oakland 21

San Francisco 14, San Diego 12

WNBA

Thursday's Games

Chicago 82, New York 60

Tulsa 85, Seattle 67

Los Angeles 93, Washington 91

Friday's Games

Connecticut at San Antonio, 8 p.m.

Indiana at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Saturday's Games

Phoenix at San Antonio, 8 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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