Gabriel Murillo

Gabriel Murillo’s life turned upside-down after he was involved in a car accident. The accident left him with a severe spinal cord injury. Gabriel has no function in his lower extremities, fair movement in his upper extremities, and can’t move his fingers. Because of his condition, he expressed concern for being a burden on his family.

To work on his recovery, Gabriel was admitted to Vibra Hospital of Fargo. When he first arrived, he was dependent for all activities of daily living. He felt like he wouldn’t be able to take care of himself ever again. One of his main goals was to be able to use his phone again so he could text his children.

Through occupational therapy, Gabriel learned how to use adaptive techniques to achieve his goals. With the use of a universal cuff, Gabriel can hold his toothbrush and independently brush his teeth. The cuff also holds a stylus so he can use his phone. The tenodesis grasp allows him to use regular utensils to feed himself and hold a writing utensil. He also learned techniques to be able to dress himself.

While at Vibra, Gabriel had the opportunity to speak with another spinal cord injury patient for support during his recovery. After their conversation, he realized his situation could be worse. He is thankful for the encouragement he received to keep fighting. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel and there are people I need to live for.” With reassurance from his occupational therapists, he now has a goal of living a functional, happy life with his family.