High Fives Athlete, Sophie Coudurier Working Hard at Beyond the Chair!
The High Fives Foundation’s Winter Empowerment Fund service disburses board-approved grants to disabled winter action sports athletes participating in winter adaptive sports or athletes recovering from a life-altering injury. In June, the Foundation’s Board of Directors Grant Selection Committee approved a grant for Winter Empowerment Athlete Sophie Coudurier totaling $14,058.14 to be used for five-weeks of physical therapy (including travel) at Beyond the Chair in San Antonio, TX, and a standing frame to aid in her ongoing recovery. This is the third board-approved grant that Sophie has received since becoming a High Fives Athlete in January 2013.
Sophie Coudurier was member of the Falcon Ski Competition Team. On December 26, 2012, she was doing her first warm up runs on Bruce at the Mt. Rose Ski Resort in Reno, NV and she was hit by a skier at the bottom of the run towards the traverse. They were both thrown into a pine tree outside the boundary and Sophie sustained a spinal cord injury at the T6 level.
In February of this year Sophie was granted funds to attend Beyond the Chair in San Antonio, TX – a state of the art SCI rehab facility recommended to her by her Physical Therapist Thais Mollet at SpineNevada. After experiencing tremendous gains at the facility Sophie reapplied in June, and received a Board approved grant for an extended stay (five Weeks) at the facility to keep working on her recovery, building strength and confidence. Sophie is currently still in Texas, and the progress that she is making is jaw dropping!
Head Therapist Nito Blochlinger’s words on Sophie’s progress: “Sophie to this point is doing extremely well! She is very motivated and works really hard! So far, we have seen noticeable improvement in her core stability and balance. Core strength is very important in all aspects of Sophie’s recovery. Especially when learning how to crawl, kneel, stand and walk. She is much improved in that area. We are currently working on Sophie learning the necessary skills to crawl on her own. This takes a lot of upper body strength, core strength, balance, hip stabilization, and working a lot on hip flexion exercises, hip extension exercises and leg adduction/abduction for stability. She is able to crawl well with assistance and is able to perform the hip flexion leg movement when crawling with assistance. Now we are progressing to the next step which is crawling on her own without assistance.We have also been walking on the parallel bars and walkers quite often, and there has been some pretty good improvement there as well. She is beginning to get some hip flexion movement throughout each step and is able to lock out her legs with each step. Also, we’ve been using our Ergys2 functional electrical stimulation bike and Sophie has said she can feel her glutes, a little bit of sensation in her quadriceps and hamstrings. This stim bike is designed to help with circulation, build up atrophied muscles, and increase function and sensation. We took leg measurements when she first came back. It’s going to be interesting to see her improvement in build leg muscle at the end of her sessions. We are also using a device called a Compex Stim Machine. We hook this stim machine to her legs when doing squats, standing, hip flexion, adduction, etc. We have been doing anything and everything to stimulate Sophie’s nerves and muscles below the level of her injury for an optimal functional outcome. Thank you to the High Fives Foundation for helping Sophie with her recovery at Beyond The Chair!”
Learn more about High Fives Athlete, Sophie Coudurier HERE!