Rehab progress for mom wounded in knife attack

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on September 7, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 8 at 2:40 AM

Remember Brandi Todd? She's the woman who was attacked by a knife-wielding man while playing with her children at a park in Stephenville earlier this year.

Her spine was severed. She was paralyzed.

But despite the devastating injury, she remains unwilling to give up. A new video shows how much progress she has been making during a visit to an extreme rehabilitation center in California called Project Walk.

In an interview, Todd told News 8 she didn't realize she was standing up straight because she couldn't feel her legs. She said she is now starting to feel some pain inside her left foot at times.

How is she commanding her muscles to respond? "I don't know; I honestly don't know," she said. "I just think as hard as I can. They say, 'Just think it, and do it. Just do it.'"

It's more complicated than that, of course. But the core belief at Project Walk is that a damaged central nervous system can reorganize itself with enough stimulation and exercise.

"If I keep pushing myself every day, they tell me I've got a good chance of walking again," Todd said.

Pushing has never been Brandi Todd's problem.

"You can't just sit there and wait for a miracle to fall on your head," said Denise DeForest, the wounded woman's mother.

Todd will come home to Stephenville in a few weeks for the trial of the mentally disturbed man who is accused of stabbing her.

Then, she said, it's right back to Project Walk.

Todd's mother says the expensive therapy is possible only because of thousands of dollars collected at fundraisers.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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