Trevor’s endeavor: Technology breaking barriers in Manito

Local News

In a new WMBD segment titled “What’s Your Story,” we take a dart, throw it at a map of Central Illinois, and find a special story in the town where it lands.

Our next stop was to Manito, Illinois where we had the chance to speak to a man who experienced the unthinkable, but is defying the odds every day.

It was November 2016. Trevor Hayden was driving his family’s business truck down a country road when he lost control. He recounts rolling, flipping, flashes.. and then..

“I was waking up in a field and it’s the scariest thing when you cant really move anything at that time.” said Trevor Hayden.

His father Dennis was at the scene within minutes. Calling his mom, Sara, to break the news.

She was in Dallas on a work trip when and quickly got on the next flight back to Peoria.

“Of course you go into mom mode,” she recalled. “It was the longest flight of my life.”

“It all happened so fast,” Trevor said. “They basically told me I had a C6/C7 level spinal cord injury. The doctor basically told me I was never going to walk again.”

He learned he was paralyzed from the waist down.

“You dont believe it. And you have to refuse to believe it in some ways but I guess that was reality and just not what i wanted to accept,” he said. 

11 days in the hosptial…..That time dedicated to determining what to do next.

“There was no time to sit and think.. oh poor me, what am I gonna do now?”

With the help of family and friends, he hit the ground running. He started going to full patient rehab twice a week at Next Steps in Willow Springs, Illinois. It was there that he was introduced to the Indego Exoskeleton. It’s a robotic suit that helps promote blood circulation, bone density.. and most importantly, allows him to walk.

“That’s kind of the main goal right now,” Trevor said. “All of therapy I’ve been doing leading up to walking again by whatever means.”

And he’s slowly reaching those goals. WMBD witnessed him walking in his home for the first time in two years. This being after remodeling his home, adding in lifts, and finding new ways to get around…

“Every day you are constantly trying to learn how to do normal things again,” he said. 

And he couldn’t do it without the help of his community.

“Every day im thankful for the support that surrounds me daily,” Trevor said. “The second you stop trying or get it in your mind that you dont wanna go anymore, that’s your biggest battle.”

You can follow Trevor on his journey through Facebook here:

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