At more than 4,000 square feet, the Keefer family's new home features a first floor that's completely accessible to Brian Keefer.

There are 12 rooms, including 3.5 baths in the combined home and new addition.

In the new addition, a therapy wing has been set up for Brian Keefer, to aid in his recovery and further help him realize his dream of walking once again.

As part of his therapy, Middletown-based HydroWorx donated a therapy pool similar to the one Brian uses at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.

According to Kim Obst, an aquatic therapist who works with Brian at Kennedy Krieger's International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, "Brian came to us in 2008. When he arrived, he had very limited movement in his upper extremities - there was just some slight shoulder movement."

Over the last few years, though, she added, "We've seen gains being made in the upper extremities. Aquatic therapy has the ability to facilitate emotional gain as well as physical gain. Most of the day, Brian is dependent on everybody else. He can now move his wheelchair, but he needs help with everything else. With this therapy, he has a little bit of freedom because of the weightlessness of the water."

With the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, though, Brian's use of the pool until now has been limited, because of the commute and insurance costs.

"It's a commitment for his family to come down here. He comes here in short bursts of time and trains hard with physical therapy and aquatic therapy," Obst said. "Our hope is with the new pool that Brian will use what he's learned here at home. With the pool at his home, we hope to see him progress even further."

Brian's new therapy pool is 4.5 feet deep and 14-by-7.6-feet wide, and costs roughly $30,000 to purchase, according to HydroWorx co-owner Mike McHugh.

"He obviously uses our stuff, and he's had a lot of success with it. So his therapists (at Kennedy Krieger) thought it would be a huge benefit to him to have access to the pool," McHugh said, noting that the pool features a built-in treadmill as well as resistance jets to build up his strength.

"Water takes gravity away, and for Brian, no matter what happens, he's just in an environment where he'll feel freer."

"We don't have gravity fighting us. Brian can see his new movements," Obst noted.

"He's amazing," Obst added. "He really deserves this, and his family works so hard for him. Brian is one of the most motivated people I know. I've never seen him give up."


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