John Manison Explains Full Recovery From Being a Paraplegic

Swimming World TV’s Brent Rutemiller sat down with John Manison of the Sailfish Swim Club from Chatsworth, California. Manison is a fully recovered paraplegic and is the first in the world (0:55) to successfully be able to walk again.

Manison was hit with transverse myelitis (1:20 mark in video) as a kid and it affected his spine to the point where he was paralyzed from the waist down. Manison was rushed to the hospital after collapsing in his kitchen. He was living in Pennsylvania and was flown to Cleveland due to the severity of his injuries. He was sent home from Cleveland in a wheelchair with no definitive answers for why he could not walk.

Manison looked for a second opinion and found the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, where they were able to pinpoint exactly what the problem was, and how to recover.

It was through recovery that Manison found swimming (3:23). Manison was told how important the pool was for physical therapy and it was in the pool that Manison fell in love with the concept of swimming.

Manison started swimming competitively in high school and he credits swimming for being “the single biggest individual reason” why he is able to walk today.

Manison is now in charge of the Sailfish Swim Club in Chatsworth, California (4:34) where he hopes to make it a club for both able-bodied and disabled swimmers. He said that when he was a para swimmer, he felt “just like everybody else” and he didn’t want disabled athletes to be separate from the able-bodied swimmers.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    john m razi

    Absolutely so miraculous plus hopeful ! So much to this ! Brent & SW Tv – so meaningful, so many levels. Great life-energy !

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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