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SUU student makes incredible recovery after being paralyzed in all four limbs

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jul 12, 2023

MURRAY, Utah — When Vishal Shukla came to Intermountain Healthcare last year, his arms and legs were paralyzed after a body surfing accident. Today, things look a little different. He was able to walk around and do exercises in his rehab room that he couldn’t do before.

Coming back to the hospital, it was a special reunion at Intermountain in Murray.

“Being able to just give everyone a big, fat, well-deserved hug for all the work they’ve done for me,” he said.

He said he would not have been able to come this far without the caregivers who treated him.

"Every time, I walk through a hallway, every time I see someone with an ankle weight or if I put one on myself, every time I brush my teeth, just all these things that I needed help from all the staff at Intermountain to do," he said. "Those memories just come back again.”

The last time that Shukla was at that hospital, his grip strength barely registered. But 14 months later, he’s climbing mountains.

“I just feel very privileged to be a small part of anybody’s journey in the rehab process," said Peter Spence, one of Shukla’s therapists. "So, I feel fortunate to have known Vishal and to have worked with him."

Back in May, he reached the summit of Mount Hood to meet the doctors and therapists who made that possible.

“It was a lot of ups and downs, but I think it was inspiring to see the level of dedication he had to improve himself,” said Spence.

According to Spence, Vishal’s recovery was everything they could have hoped for.

“We could not have expected him to make any more progress than he did," said Spence. "I’ve worked with lot of spinal cord injury patients throughout my career and this is as good as it gets."

Shukla turned his success into a fundraiser, so others with similar injuries can get the treatment they need.

“The biggest thing for me is giving back, paying it forward, spinal cord injuries are just so detrimental, catastrophic for those involved," he said. "Not just for the actual individuals, but also for families.”

Here is the link if you would like to donate.