Checking off his bucket list, one step at a time

By: Amy Hocker 

UPDATED: AUG 20 2017 10:40PM CDT

 – Three times a day at New Perspectives Senior Living, 60-year-old Scott Young proudly upholds his reputation as “the guy who never misses a meal.”
It’s even more impressive because for Scott, simple things like eating don’t come easy.
Nine years ago, Scott–who’s epileptic–lost the use of his left arm and leg after complications from brain surgery. It hinders just about everything he does.
But for him, the hardest challenge to swallow: he hasn’t been able to walk in nine years.
“I thought I would be stuck here for my entire life,” he said. “My goal was just to walk again.”
Then–eight months ago–Scott’s life took an unexpected turn when he moved to New Perspectives. He started getting help with everyday tasks, which meant he could start focusing on the bigger picture.
That bigger picture? Walk from his room on the second floor to the dining room–down the hall and short elevator ride. He made it a priority and went to work.
He’s been in physical therapy five days a week, every week. His occupational therapist is part of a team that also includes a physical therapist and an assistant.
The work was grueling and painful, but just five months later the strides were longer and the smiles were bigger.
Scott’s arm, hand and leg were finally strong enough to provide some balance. The only thing left was to put one foot in front of the other.
“When I first started walking, I would only walk so far,” he said. “And I needed to take a break to sit down and rest. But then I get up and do it all over again.”
Scott pushed himself to take a few more steps every day. Soon, he would make the long walk down the hall and down the elevator to the dining room for a meal no one wanted to miss.
“The residents saw me in the dining room and started clapping,” he said. “[I have] a lot of support, it’s unreal.”
Weeks later, he’s got the whole walking thing down–which, for someone as ambitious as Scott, means it’s time to move the goal posts.
“I walk down for breakfast and I walk down for supper,” he said. “And when I build up more strength I’ll try to make it for all three meals.”
After all, he has a new reputation to uphold around here: “The guy who never gave up.”
“Walking was a bucket list item, big time,” he said. “It gave me the biggest smile to say I can walk. I’m gonna keep it up.”

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