NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) --- This time last year you would have found Mike Sheffield in a kimono, kicking a bag at the gym.
“Martials arts was my passion,” said Sheffield.
Today, he’s in a different kind of fight.
“It’s the loudest sound you’ll ever hear,” said Sheffield. “Hearing something break inside your body.”
Last winter, the 30-year-old’s life completely changed during a practice jujitsu drill. During a routine maneuver Mike was caught in a bad position and broke his neck.
“I’ve learned a lot since then,” said Sheffield. “Learned a lot.”
Mike is now a paraplegic and has limited use of his arms and core. But it’s his attitude that’s led to improvements every week here at the ODU Monarch Physical Therapy Clinic. It’s where he’s come for treatment twice a week for the last four months.
“I don’t have a lot of room for frustration,” said Sheffield. “No time for it.”
Money was raised by Mike’s friends and family to pay for his treatment and special equipment.
But to show his appreciation to the therapists and the clinic at ODU, the Virginia Tech grad and aspiring chef decided that the money would be better spent giving back.
“We decided instead of using it to purchase equipment for me, we’d prefer to buy it for the area,” said Sheffield.
And that’s how the clinic was able to purchase a new Functional Electrical Stimulation bike. It’s a gift that all patients will now have access to.
“It takes a village,” said Sheffield. “That’s as exciting as any muscles I get.”