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A local man fights to defy medical odds

CINCINNATI (Paula Toti) -- Almost seven weeks ago a former tri-state restaurant manager found himself in the fight of his life.

A series of strokes left Brett Walls with "Locked In Syndrome."  In a way he is trapped in his body.  At a room in Drake Hospital, Gayle Payton Walls has barely left her husband's bedside.  51-year-old father and grandfather, Brett Walls, fully understands that and everything else that's been happening.  After severe damage to his brain stem the family was told to expect little more than eye movement.  However, he's exceeding expectations.
Gayle Walls says, "He's swallowing, looking left and right, and back and forth and has moved his foot."
A few times a week he has physical and speech therapy.  He is quite clear in his thoughts.  He laughed for us and communicated with up and down eye movements.  Walls seemed to indicate a strong "yes" message when I asked him if he feels he is getting stronger every day.
Recovery is a choice Brett made after getting the facts on Locked In Syndrome.  He was told he could quietly slip away or fight. 

"He chose to fight," says Gayle.
Some of that fight is with the insurance company.  Gayle and Brett's doctors feel he'd benefit from a rehab program at Health South.  It's kind of a hospital within a hospital inside the Drake building.  Brett's on a third appeal with insurance to pay for one of the few facilities that have experience with Locked In Syndrome.
Gayle says there are miracles and she feels they are on their way.  However she knows it's a tough fight ahead.  They are getting a lot of support from family, friends, and former coworkers at Trio Restaurant.

The family is planning a big fundraiser Thursday and Friday at "Symphony Hotel and Restaurant."  It will include dinner and bands.  Both nights the event starts at 8p.m. and goes until 11p.m.  The gourmet five course dinner is $100 a person and includes a $55 donation to Brett's medical care.

For reservations call (513) 721-3353 .

CLICK HERE for more information.




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