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'Ben' There, Doing That

Updated: Friday, May 23 2014, 11:24 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

January 31, 2015 08:09 GMT

Latest Scores; upcoming games

NBA

Friday's Games

Philadelphia 103, Minnesota 94

Atlanta 105, Portland 99

Houston 93, Boston 87

Toronto 127, Brooklyn 122, OT

Cleveland 101, Sacramento 90

New Orleans 108, L.A. Clippers 103

Dallas 93, Miami 72

Utah 110, Golden State 100

Phoenix 99, Chicago 93

Saturday's Games

Toronto at Washington, 7 p.m.

Dallas at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Sacramento at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Houston at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Cleveland at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Portland at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Denver, 9 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 9 p.m.

Phoenix at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

TOP 25 MEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday's Game

( 6) Arizona 57, Oregon State 34

Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky vs. Alabama, 7 p.m.

( 2) Virginia vs. ( 4) Duke, 7 p.m.

( 3) Gonzaga vs. Memphis, 10 p.m.

( 5) Wisconsin at Iowa, Noon

( 7) Villanova at DePaul, 2 p.m.

( 8) Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, Noon

( 9) Kansas vs. Kansas State, 2 p.m.

(10) Louisville vs. (13) North Carolina, 7 p.m.

(12) Wichita State at (18) Northern Iowa, 4 p.m.

(14) VCU vs. Richmond, 2 p.m.

(15) Iowa State vs. TCU, 2 p.m.

(17) West Virginia vs. Texas Tech, Noon

(19) Texas at (20) Baylor, 6 p.m.

(21) Georgetown at Creighton, 2 p.m.

(22) Indiana vs. Rutgers, 3:15 p.m.

(24) Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, 8 p.m.

(25) Butler at Marquette, 2 p.m.

NHL

Friday's Games

St. Louis 3, Carolina 2, SO

Pittsburgh 2, New Jersey 1, OT

Colorado 3, Nashville 0

Vancouver 5, Buffalo 2

Chicago 4, Anaheim 1

Saturday's Games

Washington at Montreal, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Detroit, 2 p.m.

Arizona at Ottawa, 3 p.m.

Dallas at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Carolina at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

Florida at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Los Angeles at Boston, 7 p.m.

Columbus at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Edmonton at Calgary, 10 p.m.

Chicago at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

TOP 25 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday's Games

( 9) Florida St. 82, Georgia Tech 62

(11) Arizona St. 68, Colorado 60

(19) Princeton 96, Harvard 46

Saturday's Games

( 7) Oregon State vs. Southern Cal, 5:30 p.m.

(12) Stanford vs. Washington State, 3:30 p.m.

(19) Princeton at Dartmouth, 6 p.m.

(25) Chattanooga vs. Mercer, 3 p.m.

NFL

Friday-Saturday

No games scheduled

Sunday - Super Bowl

New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks at Glendale, Ariz., 6:30 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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