Anti-Gravity Treadmill Helps Teen Recover

By: Lauren Squires Email
By: Lauren Squires Email

It's the first week of volleyball practice at Gretna High School.

“It's basically all the same, I have a little bit of soreness but it's basically the same,” Rian Kirby said.

Kirby is setting up for a great junior season, she almost missed.

“It's amazing, it was hard just not being able to play,” Kirby said.

She spent most of her summer on crutches.

“We were on a gravel road and we got to the top of the hill and there was a car coming at us,” Kirby said.

On May 22nd Kirby was the passenger in this car roll over on Giles road. She was thrown 75 feet.

“I fractured my left, my right hip socket and dislocated my left and had surgery on my left,” Kirby said.

What appeared to be a long road to recovery, was simply heartbreaking for the teen.

“The first thing i said after my accident when i talked to anyone is can i still play volleyball,” Kirby said.

After all, she's been playing since grade school. But with the help of physical therapy at Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital.

“That was tough, especially when I was still on crutches and I couldn't only put weight on my left leg, so you couldn't really do much with my right,” Kirby said.

The "Alter G" Anti-Gravity treadmill has helped her recover more quickly.

“We're kind stuck when they're upstairs as to how much they can do, how much they feel like doing. Put them in here and they're able to do a lot more things because like I said to tell somebody that they can only weight bare up to 20 or 30 percent well how are they supposed to know that on their own,” Physical Therapist Kristy Nielsen said.

Using NASA technology and taking the load of her feet, Kirby gained confidence.

“It really felt I was running and getting better faster,” Kirby said.

“You feel really springy, you don't feel that pounding of the running or walking that you would normally feel,” Nielsen said.

And strength to take the hardwood once again, only months after an accident that almost bumped her out of volleyball.

Kirby says she hopes to eventually play volleyball in college. For now, she's focusing on helping her team get to state.

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