A local rehabilitation center helps a man get back on his feet

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - When it comes to your health, getting your body in-sync with your mind is a must, and that can be the hardest part. A Hattiesburg man, credits the Forrest General Live Well Center  for helping him with his rehabilitation from a bad car wreck.

August 4, 2010 is a day Isaiah Easterling will never forget, but it's also a day he remembers very little about.

"It was three weeks before I remembered anything, anything period."

Easterling was in a terrible car wreck, which left him with four broken ribs and major memory loss.

"They said that my head was split. I never had a headache or anything, but my memory went away," and he couldn't walk.

Once he was released from the hospital, the hard work began. Easterling started outpatient rehabilitation at Forrest General's Live Well Center, with Physical Therapist Ramona Ridley.

"We worked more on the lower extremity, leg exercises.' Ridley said, 'He had coordination problems, it was more like a stroke where he was not able to teach his brain to function with his leg."

In the beginning, he was forced to use a walker because he had a lot of trouble balancing himself.

"he had a lot of issues coordinating his movements, finding his midline."

Coordination issues or not, the 75 year-old who's had a lifelong career in athletics wasn't ready to call it quits.

"They knew the machines that I needed to be on for my condition."

It was at least a 3-day a week regimen, filled with strength training, stretching and a lot of motivation from the Live Well team.

"He came to us on a walker, we progressed to a cane, and now he is walking without that."

Now finished with his rehabilitation, he is back on track, for the most part. Easterling now comes to the Live Well Center on his own, and often gives other patients some motivation.

"Most people are living longer," said Ridley, "and if they continue to live longer, they want to live productive lives and that's what life is all about, being able to function. He is able to function at a higher level using therapy now."

He is proving that age, truly is just a number.