Marshall Park uses therapy tool invented by former classmate
December 30, 2014
It isn’t often that anything good comes of a car crash, but for Marshall Park a traumatic accident led to a surprising run-in with an old friend.
Last summer, on July 20, Marshall and his fiancé drove around a bend in Logan Canyon and collided head-on with a truck. Fortunately, both were wearing seatbelts and were quickly assisted by bystanders.
"They were in an area in Logan Canyon with no cell service but there happened to be a physician and three emergency responders in the flow of traffic that got out to help, as well as someone with a radio that was able to radio for help. There were a lot of little miracles that happened," explained Marshall’s mom Bonnie Park.
Marshall was air-lifted to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray where he spent eight days in the shock/trauma unit.
Marshall suffered multiple lacerations, his patella was shattered, both femurs were broken and his sternum was fractured. Other injuries included compressed vertebrae, a severely broken hand and broken facial bones requiring 15 titanium plates. The other driver suffered a concussion and Marshall’s fiancé incurred a badly fractured ankle, Bonnie remembers.
"I also now have a very rational aversion to dashboards and glove compartments," Marshall quipped.
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After three-and-a-half weeks in the hospital, he was released to begin the long process of recovery.
While rehabilitating at Park City Medical Center Marshall started using a Static Stretching Device to increase the range of motion in his knee.
Marshall, who still has rods in his legs, said, "It is not a one-size-fits-all, it actually adjusts to the size of your leg and how your joints flex which is nice. It’s like having a physical therapist there pulling on your leg. It’s quite convenient."
He described the machine as aesthetically pleasing, made with nice materials and an elegant design.
Impressed, Bonnie asked Marshall’s therapist where the machine came from and discovered that it was invented by "a fellow by the name of Greg Method."
"I said ‘Greg Method? Is he about 24?’ and she said ‘Yes’ and I said ‘Is he tall with dark hair?’ and she said ‘Yes’ and I said ‘Well that was one of Marshall’s childhood friends!’" explained Bonnie. "They went to preschool together and eventually through the school district."
Still in disbelief, Bonnie called Method’s mother and confirmed that it was indeed Marshall’s childhood playmate who had designed the machine that was now helping her son regain his ability to walk.
"I asked if we could figure out a way to get a unit for Marshall to work on ranging his knee and so she got Greg in touch and he brought a unit over and Marshall was able to use it at home," said Bonnie.
Method, who graduated from Park City High School in Marshall’s class, never anticipated the impact he would eventually have on his childhood friend.
"I was always interested in engineering but this was never the plan," explained Method.
While studying mechanical engineering at Santa Clara University Method took a summer job at Physical Therapy Kimball. He and physical therapist Brandon Judd started experimenting with different mechanical designs to find something that would be beneficial for patients to use outside of the clinic.
"It was an ongoing process over the course of three years. The designs became more productive and user friendly until we landed on the design Marshall used," said Method who now has his own company, Method Therapeutic, in Salt Lake City.
"It’s basically a powered device that allows someone at home to apply a flexion or extension static stretch. It takes the joint to a maximum range of motion and holds that stretch to create a permanent change in the soft tissue so that patients will regain the full range of motion following a surgery or accident. For people who want to take control of their recovery, ours is one of the few devices out there that will allow you to get the same stretching exercises at home."
"I’ve known Marshall since I was probably 5 or 6 years old. He’s been handling the recovery like a champ and it’s been amazing to see how much he has overcome in the last several months," added Method.
Now able to walk again, Marshall is continuing to pursue his dreams of doing cancer research cancer and other cellular conditions by studying medical laboratory science and cytotechnology at the University of Utah. He named Ed Mulick, Janice Jones, Maureen Amendola, and Jim Fleming as teachers who inspired him in high school.
"I went back to school during the fall semester to take laboratory management. I got an A in it, with brain trauma. I was kind of proud of that," said Marshall.
"Both (Method) and Marshall were bright little kids and had an attraction towards the sciences," recalled Bonnie. "It was just interesting to see them circle back."
As Marshall continues to recover both he and Bonnie say they are grateful he has come this far.
"We just feel really fortunate about the amazing medical facilities we have both in Salt Lake and up here," said Bonnie. "He’s very fortunate. His brain is really very good. His spine is good and when you sit in the rehabilitation units you see so many things that can go wrong, you really learn to count blessings for everything that is right."
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