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News 5 Exclusive: West Nile virus victim learns to run again - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

News 5 Exclusive: West Nile virus victim learns to run again

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A Pueblo firefighter struck with paralysis two years ago, after suffering from West Nile virus, has gone from depending on walkers... to running.

It's a therapy she called her last resort, now credited with getting her back on her feet.

"I couldn't contract any muscle in my left leg at all, from my glute down to my toes," Kelly Firestone, a Pueblo emergency medical officer said.

It all started with a mosquito bite, which led to West Nile virus, meningitus and ultimately paralysis.

"You're forced to find a different way to live," Firestone said.

Kelly Firestone has spent eight years working for Pueblo Fire but had to take a year off when her declining health kept her at home.

"A very stout and courageous firefighter that has a very strong athletic background, and all the sudden to go from that to not being able to use your leg," Chris Knott, Dunamis ARP owner said.

"I went from doctor to doctor to doctor to therapist to therapist. I did kineseology to a hyperbaric chamber. I did supplements, I did everything that I could possibly do over the last two years to get my leg back," she said.

Exhausted, two years later, Firestone says she has found a treatment that works.

"Basically what they do is they run the electrodes across my leg and the hot-spots, the spots that hurt, that's where my brain is not talking to that area," she said.

It's called ARP Wave neuromuscular therapy.

"Physical therapy usually starts about step four and we're skipping steps one, two and three and so all we've done is gone back to the basics," Knott said.

Connecting the brain to the muscles.

"If you think about the human body as an electrical system just like if you blew a fuse in your house and you have to go out to the garage and hit the breaker switch to figure out which one was shut off," he said.

"I've been here for a little more than a month and a half now and I've seen amazing improvements," Firestone said.

Proper coaching and a stitch of hope, has helped this therapy work for Kelly.

"The great thing about Kelly is that she's very determined and she's willing to do what it takes to get better," he said.

"It's just amazing, I've felt muscle contractions that I haven't felt in two years," she said.

But that wasn't the only thing Kelly has been missing out on.

"If there's going to be a way for me to run again this is going to be it," she said.

"When was the last time you ran?" Knott asked. "Two years ago, over two years ago," Firestone said.

Kelly says she still has a long road of recovery ahead and will continue with her treatments at Dunamis ARP in Colorado Springs.

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