Oklahoma Decides: Runoff election results

High school senior defies the odds, learns to walk in time for graduation

After breaking his neck in two places, one high school senior was told to prepare to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Isaiah Abbot worked hours and hours on competitive cheer.

This Byng high school senior had a dream of cheering at OU.

Abbott said, “I’d never worked so hard for something in my whole life.”

But after the 1st round of OU tryouts, he broke his neck in 2 places during a practice session in February.

Abbott said, “When I went up to do my tuck, I didn’t go up all the way enough and just landed on my neck.   I remember just laying there and I felt like I was still in a ball.”

He underwent a fusion of his two broken vertebrae.

Instead of accepting he would never walk again, Isaiah went about defying the odds.

He began training on the Lokomat at Jim Thorpe in Integris Southwest.

Physical Therapist Josie Gimple explained how the Lokomat works, stating “What it does is the repetition of the walking it helps make new pathways in the brain and reminds you that this is what you used to do and kind of re-teaching people.”

Therapist Tami Brown said it’s a perfect mix of cutting edge technology and ultimate perseverance.

Brown said, “He never gave up, he kept all of us up.  He says we kept him up.  His energy was always there every day.”

All of his hard work added up to the miracle of his first step.

Isaiah is now able to walk once again.

Something many thought was impossible, but never Isaiah.

He said he had a VERY specific goal in mind.

“I told myself that I was going to walk across stage like for graduation. And now I finally get to complete that this Friday.”

A walk for a diploma – that symbolizes determination that can only drive this young man to success.