Cause Index

THE WALKING WITH BRANDON FOUNDATION

The Walking with Brandon Foundation was founded by the Beack Family (Mark, Annette and

Brandon) after 16-year-old Brandon was left paralysed from a tragic gymnastics training

accident on the 22nd August 2012.

After a successful operation and 8 weeks of post-op rehabilitation Brandon was discharged

from hospital to start his new life as a quadriplegic. This was like a huge mountain before the

Beack family. They soon came to realise that there was no advanced neurological

rehabilitation available for Brandon and other people in the same situation.

From December 2013 to January 2014 Brandon attended a top rehabilitation facility in the

USA - the Shepherd Centre in Atlanta, Georgia - for 6 weeks of advanced neurological

rehabilitation. Here he attended their advanced “Beyond Therapy Program”, for 3 hours a

day, 5 days a week, for 6 weeks.

Before Brandon left for the Shepherd Centre and after he returned home, he was tested at

the UCT MRC Sports Science Research Department to track if there were any improvements

gained from the advanced neurological rehabilitation program he had attended.

The test results proved that Brandon had indeed recovered beyond all expectations. Brandon

is quoted as saying: “How far would I have recovered if I had had the opportunity of attending

this program from day one after my injury?”

This experience highlighted the fact that spinal cord Injury recovery in South Africa is at least

10 years behind the rest of the world.

Brandon and his parents started acquiring equipment for an advanced Neurological

Rehabilitation Centre in Cape Town, the same as he had attended and experienced at the

Shepherd Centre to help him and other South African patients on their road to recovery.

In June 2014 the purchase of the EKSO Bionics Walking suit from EKSO Bionics California

USA created a need for a professional and clinical facility to house the suit and other

equipment. To this end the Walking With Brandon Foundation teamed up with the Sports

Science Institute of South Africa and Lander & Pursad Biokineticists in Newlands, Cape

Town.

Since the acquisition of the EKSO Bionic walking suit, The WWBF has purchased a number

of other specialised pieces of equipment, which are all housed at Lander & Pursad

Biokineticists. All of the biokineticists at Lander & Pursad have received individual training

with the EKSO Bionics suit and the other specialised equipment. This makes it possible for

many patients to use the equipment under personalised supervision from these biokineticists.