'Amputee walking school' helps people overcome challenges

Posted at 11:49 PM, Nov 16, 2016
Three times each year, once in March, again in June, and finally in November, people go to the UMD rehabilitation center to learn to walk, to learn to try and to overcome challenges.
It may not look like it at first, but it's among the shuffle of people and the light pitter patter of feet, where you'll find a dancer.
That was Adrienne Walker-Pittman before the accident and the horrible day, Jan. 27, 1996, when she and her husband were about to move into their new home when a stolen car, chased by Baltimore County Police, changed things.
It's a day of which Walker-Pittman Remembers very little before the coma.
"Two hospitals, 60 days, a coma for 15 (days), and needless to say, it changed my life forever," she said.
And that's why she went to the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute, among people facing their own challenges, like remembering how to walk with a prosthetic limb, like across the room, where Joseph Happel was working with his eighth prosthesis.
"I was just released from physical therapy a week ago. I know I've got to get back to the gym. They give me a push," he said of the physical therapists.

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Inside the center's gym, you'll also find those changes come with a smile.
"We think it's a really great thing to have a goal to aspire to. It's part of our adapted sports program," said Sheila Shaffer, the outpatient therapy manager.
Walker-Pittman fights for every step with as much rigor and determination as that very first day, despite the fact she's already returned to the dance floor.
"God made it possible for that opportunity to present itself so i could make my dream become a reality," she said.
The sessions are free and open to the public.

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