Anthony “Tony” Johnson
In 1986, 10-year-old Anthony “Tony” Johnson was traveling on his 4-wheeler down the snowy roads in his hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, when he stopped at a gas station to fill up his tank. When he was ready to go, he put on his helmet and pulled onto the nearby road to head home. Unfortunately, he did not travel far before he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.
Tony was taken to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with a severe, closed head injury. Had it not been for the helmet he was wearing, he would not be alive today. Tony spent the next seven months in the hospital before he was released back home. It took about three years before he could walk independently; and he’d have permanent brain damage for the rest of his life struggling with mobility, nerve damage, muscle impairment, cognitive issues, speech and pain.
Now living independently in Plano, 40-year-old Tony works at a local grocery store assisting with maintenance, housekeeping and bagging groceries. He receives care through HealthSouth Plano’s outpatient therapy services where the team is helping him regain strength and function in his left arm. In addition to Botox injections that will help muscle spasticity in his left arm, therapists work with him on mirror therapy, a type of therapy which uses a mirror to help trick the brain in thinking an effected limb’s movement occurred without pain.
He hopes to continue outpatient therapy so he can continue living independently and being a valuable employee.