CASA GRANDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The lead doctor at an Arizona nursing home is crediting a new therapy program after one of her patients regained the ability to walk after 18 years.
"Currently he's on hospice," said Oasis Pavilion medical director Dr. Anne Borik.
Charles Shields has always been a character. The 75-year-old plays harmonica, plays the piano and loves to paint. But Parkinson’s disease took away much of Shields' abilities to speak, move, and walk.
"I felt so trapped," Shields said.
And Oasis Pavilion was just making sure he’d be as comfortable as possible.
"When you're on hospice, there's no rehabilitative potential,” Borik said. “He's just really hanging out here with no real idea that he's going to get better."
But last week, Shields got up and started walking after 18 years in a wheelchair.
"It's amazing to see what we saw occur in this facility," Borik said.
Borik had been experimenting with “Sign Chi Do” for the last three weeks. The therapy uses sign gestures, music and uplifting expressions.
“We were focusing on gratitude and being thankful,” Borik said.
Cellphone video shows the moments immediately after Shields got up after the “Sign Chi Do” session, with staff expressing disbelief that he was walking again.
“The feeling is phenomenal,” Shields said.
Both Shields and Borik credit the therapy, but say they feel like a higher power also played a hand in the recovery.
"That's a pretty powerful, powerful thing,” Borik said.