Growing up, Trent Roberts usually crossed the finish line first while racing with elementary school friends. Eventually, that speed earned the high school freshman a 12th place finish at the 2020 Kansas state cross country meet.
“It’s a happy-sad feeling. You want to continue with your team because you get close with them,” Trent said. “Then, I made state track in three events, including winning the 4 x 800m.”
The 16-year-old from Meade, Kansas, broke several running records at a young age and was on pace to do the same in high school. But an ATV accident in August left Trent with a spinal cord injury. Instead of heading to school and cross country practice, Trent came to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals Lincoln Campus with little leg movement.
“Right away, you’re going to think, ‘why me? What did I do to deserve this?’” Trent recalled. “But once you go through it, you realize it can happen to anybody. Madonna opened my eyes to that.”
With his eyes set on new goals and an upbeat attitude, Trent’s positivity is paying off. Now a high school sophomore, Trent is striving to walk again with the help of Madonna’s Lokomat, a robotic treadmill training system that assists with basic walking functions.
“It’s weird going from not walking for two weeks to walking again, but the Lokomat pushes you,” Trent said. “The games they have on there, it’s good to set goal-getting high scores. It helps you succeed and proceed to do better.”
Whether it’s on wheels or pushing pedals, Trent is always on the move at Madonna. Realizing his love for the outdoors, Trent’s care team made it a priority to get him outside for his therapy.
“Madonna has done a great job at trying to find interests,” Trent said. “They’ll let you try different sports and equipment. One thing I’ve noticed about Madonna is they focus on that independence, and they focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do.”