For most people, time spent on driving to work, school, and soccer practice seem endless. For Benson Dabney, spending time on the road is his career. Not only does Benson drive on state highways, but he also helps build them as a Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development engineer technician. On a brisk night in April of last year, Benson experienced something he never planned during his time at work: a vehicle crashing into his body while we was working on a major Louisiana highway.
Benson and his crew were working on a highway project when a car veered from an exit lane and smashed into him head-on and without warning. The moments leading up to impact happened so quickly, no one had time to prepare or warn Benson. The impact threw Benson over 40 feet across the roadway. At this speed and level of impact, one would think Benson wouldn’t be alive to tell this story. Miraculously, Benson lives to tell the story not only of how he survived, but also how he recovered with the help of PT Solutions physical therapist, Christian Stafford.
Benson suffered closed fractures to his pelvis and injuries to both legs. “On my right leg, part of my tibia broke off at the mid-calf level and on the left leg, all of the knee ligaments were torn and needed to be replaced,” Benson said. After receiving emergency care, Benson was completely wheelchair-bound for the following four months. After recovering from two surgeries, it was time for Benson to get on the path to rehabilitation so he could walk again, something he didn’t think he would have to relearn in his adult life.
His physician recommended that he attend physical therapy at PT Solutions with physical therapist Christian Stafford to improve his range of motion in his knees. When Benson first started going to physical therapy, he had less than 30 degrees of motion in each leg. A year later, he has increased that range almost three times in both of his legs.
While most people take simple tasks like standing and walking for granted, Benson described being able to stand on his own for the first time after the accident as “a piece of heaven.” The exercises that got him to this point were tough, but being able to stand was worth it for Benson. Benson wanted his life back, the one where he led an athletic lifestyle, running with his dog, and playing with his kids. Benson kept his eyes on the prize and found resilience in a place where many would give up. The day after he stood for the first time, he decided that he would take the time to walk two laps around the gym with Christian Stafford by his side.
Benson said he owes his improved range of motion and positive outlook to PT Solutions. “They make you feel very comfortable,” he says. “They are very knowledgeable about what they’re doing. They are more than physical therapists. They do a lot for people’s mental state of mind. They make you feel that, ‘I’m with you.’ Like you’re not alone and that somebody does understand. They’re patient. I wouldn’t know what to do without those guys.”
As of today, Benson is nearing full recovery with a few more hurdles to pass, but those hurdles don’t seem as high with PT Solutions working along with him. He goes to physical therapy three days a week, working on manual manipulation and plyometric exercises to build up his lower-body strength. A year ago, he was in a wheelchair. Today, he is working on jumping and intermittent jogging, exercises he said he couldn’t have envisioned himself at the time of his surgeries. Once he achieves functional ranges of motion in both knees, he will be able to return to work and spend time on the road again.
“It’s important to me to keep pushing forward,” he said. “It’s important, telling my story. Anything that can help the next person to have the self-confidence and the belief that it can be done and they can push through it. I may never be 100 percent but I’m alive and I’m functioning. That’s the most important thing and I’ll just keep pushing until I max out my recovery.”
If you have a limited range of motion due to an accident, PT Solutions can help you reach your full potential. Call us at 1-844-REHAB04 or come into one of our clinics today.