Marlon's Story

Marlon Hector

A few years ago, Marlon Hector was struck by a bullet that pierced his right shoulder blade and penetrated his spine. He was airlifted to Kendall Regional Hospital in Miami where he underwent surgery, but the damage was done: Marlon sustained a T6 complete spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the torso down. Two weeks later, he was transferred to West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital where he would work hard to restore his strength, skills and independence.

“I was at West Gables for six months, during which time I became independent with transfers and wheelchair mobility and was able to be discharged home. I have to thank my therapy team for being such an important part of my recovery.”

Marlon was home for about three months when he developed a stage IV gluteal/sacral ulcer and an infection. He was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and spent 15 days undergoing treatment. He again turned to West Gables for his rehabilitation. “I was honestly happy to be back... everyone made me feel welcomed.”

Early in his stay, Marlon was unable to get out of bed due to the extent of the wound, which eventually required a skin graft and eight months to heal, but his team worked closely with him to help him regain his health and abilities.

Since his injury, Marlon developed a heterotrophic ossification, an abnormal bone growth, in his right hip that progressively worsened. He underwent surgery and once again returned to West Gables for comprehensive rehabilitation services.

Today, Marlon is home and looking forward to the next chapter in his life. He remains grateful for the care and treatment he received at West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital, saying “Thank you to everyone at West Gables who contributed to my time here. I was spoiled!”