DENVER (KDVR) — Sitting at Axon Integrative Health in Denver, Tim Brodigan tells his story. 

“I just remember waking up in a hospital,” Brodigan said.

Five years ago, when he was just 16 years old, Brodigan was paralyzed with an incomplete spinal cord injury after an Amtrak train derailment in Washington state.

FOX31 was there when Brodigan was flown to Craig Hospital in Englewood for rehabilitation in early 2018. He was unable to move, and there were no guarantees about his future.

But now, five years later, Brodigan is up and walking with a walker. 

Brodigan said he always knew he would walk again. “I knew it, even when four or five doctors told me I wasn’t going to walk again, I knew it 100%. I was like, there is no way I’m not walking again.”

Stimulating the brain’s neuroplasticity

Now 21 years old, Brodigan said it’s been a long journey through programs around the country, but his goal is still to walk unassisted. And that is what brought him to NeuAbility Wellness Center and Axon in Denver.

“It’s painful to walk sometimes, and it was kind of prohibiting me a little bit from moving forward in that next step,” Brodigan said.

Dr. Brad DeBeer is the director of clinical neuroscience and rehab at Axon.

“The biggest thing is we are stimulating the brain’s neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to change its pathways based on experiences,” he said.

DeBeer uses a synaptic sensory board, full body vibration, red-light therapy, peripheral nerve stim baths, dry needling, hyperbaric oxygen treatments and more to help Brodigan with balance, mechanics, pain and refueling.

Brodigan said all of it combined is helping him get to the next level. When he started at Axon two months ago, he could walk with the walker for short distances and with a lot of foot drag. Now, he takes thousands of steps a day.

Brodigan said he is still working and he hopes to walk without the walker one day soon.

“It’s a work in progress. We’re still a little bit away, but definitely, that’s my goal,” he said.