Moving Beyond Goals with Beyond Therapy
When Tate Replogle completed the Spinal Cord Injury Day Program at Shepherd Center, she wanted to keep getting stronger — so she enrolled in Beyond Therapy®.
In May 2022, Tate Replogle walked into the classroom where she was working as a teacher’s assistant and suddenly couldn’t feel her legs. She was rushed to a hospital and immediately underwent surgery to repair two herniated disks. The surgery was successful, but she hadn’t regained feeling from her chest down. The doctors told her she had sustained an incomplete C5-C6 spinal cord injury (SCI). The prognosis was unclear.
At the time, Tate, originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, was living in Washington, D.C., pursuing her master’s degree at American University and working at a middle school. Her parents had heard about Shepherd Center, and after she was accepted into the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, they relocated to Atlanta. Her family was able to take advantage of Shepherd Center’s donor-funded family housing while Tate was an inpatient and while she participated in the Spinal Cord Injury Day Program.
Tate worked with therapists from May to September and slowly started seeing improvements. Sensation in her arms returned. In July, she was able to move her left leg. In August, she could move her right leg. She worked on strength and balance. Eventually, she could stand for short periods of time.
Encouraged by her progress, after completing the SCI Day Program, Tate started sessions with Shepherd Center’s Beyond Therapy® program.
“I wanted to keep going, and I wanted to stay with Shepherd Center,” she says. “The staff there is amazing. Beyond Therapy is a program that is rigorous, motivating, and beneficial. It focuses on recovery, health, and well-being.”
When she started, her goal was to walk again, although she wasn’t sure what form that would take — whether it would be with a walker, forearm crutches, walking sticks, or independently. She was motivated to get out of the wheelchair in any capacity.
She says the therapists at Beyond Therapy motivate her, and she also relies on the mental toughness she gained while serving in the Peace Corps in Albania right after college.
“In the Peace Corps, I learned how to overcome obstacles,” she says. “If I could get through that, I figure I can get through anything. But it’s also the small wins – seeing improvements in balance and strength – that motivate me to keep going.”
Tate appreciates the collaborative approach of Beyond Therapy and her therapy team’s willingness to try new things to help her reach her goals.
“If something is not working, they find another solution,” says Tate, who attends the program four days a week for two-hour sessions. “They try different equipment and different methods. They always say, ‘Let’s try this,’ and really think outside the box.”
Tate has seen a lot of improvement. She’s gone from being able to stand with a walker in five-minute increments to walking for periods of time with forearm crutches. She recently walked around the gym for 45 minutes. She can also stand at the barre without holding onto the rails.
Tate is proud of her progress and credits the team at Beyond Therapy.
“They can get you to your goals and beyond,” Tate says. “The therapists are motivating and encouraging — they don’t give up.”
Written by Sara Baxter
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Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, multiple amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. Ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals for rehabilitation and the best in the Southeast, Shepherd Center treats more than 850 inpatients and 7,600 outpatients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.