23-Year-Old Woman Paralyzed After Doing Sit-Ups At The Gym

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Dedicated fitness maniacs know that regular visits to the gym are not exactly like a walk in the park. If a person does not have the necessary experience and the proper guidance, things could end up a disaster, as there are a lot of different injuries that could occur if you do not use the right techniques.

But as it turns out, sometimes even a tremendous amount of experience is not enough to prevent injuries.

Marcelle Mancuso’s case is one of those terrible scenarios that you would never think could happen to you. The 23-year-old woman was obsessed with fitness; however, during a routine workout, she injured her neck as a result of a so-called “inverted sit-up” exercise at the gym.

Marcelle fell off the piece of equipment she was using and broke one of her vertebrae.

After she was taken to hospital and properly examined and treated, the doctors figured that there was a possibility she would be paralyzed for the rest of her life, becoming tetraplegic—meaning that she would no longer feel anything in her arms or legs.

Doctors also said that they might have to insert a titanium plate in her spine.

Despite how scary that might have seemed to the young woman, she did not give up. After several months of physiotherapy, she slowly began to regain her movement—and she has now returned to her regular gym workouts.

Marcelle is a true athlete. Besides the fitness and bodybuilding routines, she also practices Muay Thai. The incident with the broken vertebrae happened in the Brazilian town of Sao Jose do Rio Preto back in January 2016.

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She recalls doing the exercise with a strip that attached her body to the equipment. The strip broke loose, and she fell faster than her personal trainer could grab her. She hit her head very hard when she fell down, and in the same exact moment she lost the ability to control any movement.

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Later, the doctors told her that it was uncertain whether or not she would regain her ability to walk and use her arms. Marcelle says how determined she was to give all she had during the daily physiotherapy routines, and the loads of hard work paid off eventually; happily, she was able to able to recover and move normally. After just one week of exercises, she was able to stand up with a bit of assistance, and a few weeks after that first success, she finally made her first steps with a walker.

After three months Marcelle was able to walk on her own, but only for a short distance.

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The unstoppable young woman felt how the strength in her legs gradually came back four months after the incident, and on the fifth month she stopped experiencing the dizziness she felt while walking—which she had since she was able to take her first steps during the recovery period.

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A month later she walked completely normally and felt stable—as if nothing had ever happened.

After her amazing full recovery, Marcelle has returned to her daily gym activities and she says that she feels more active than she was prior to the incident. The strong and beautiful young woman often thinks about what happened to her and says she sometimes feels like she woke up from a very bad dream.

Her goal now is to share her story and to be an inspiration to people going through tough times. She is confident in herself and truly believes that as long as a person is still alive, there is always a chance—an opportunity. Marcelle says that there are many incredible aspects of life. According to her, all we need to do is just find the right perspective, which depends on personal circumstances and the love we have in our hearts for life and everything it has to offer.

Marcelle should consider herself to be very lucky because her injury was extremely serious—and her recovery is a true wonder. Hundreds of thousands of people are treated after gym-related injuries each year, and a significant percentage of them are severe.


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