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UPDATE: Tracy Blackburn leaves Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Center

LEXINGTON, Ky (WYMT) - Update 3-7-14

Family members tell us Tracy Blackburn is now back home.

When we brought his story to you in February, Blackburn was at Cardinal Hill Rehab in hopes of walking again.

We are told his insurance company denied requests from doctors to have him stay longer.

However, he is still hopeful that his determination will land him back on his feet.
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Pike County native Tracy Blackburn barreled 150 feet over a cliff nearly severing his spinal cord and breaking his leg in five places. When doctors told him that he might never walk again after an ATV accident, he told them that he would.

Brushing your teeth on your own might not seem like a victory, but for Tracy Blackburn, it is a start.

"He said if I worked in therapy, anything is possible," said Blackburn.

So he started working. At Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington, Blackburn exercises with therapists every chance he gets.

"When I am in the room, I might be hurting doing my therapy but if I see somebody stand for the first time and walk, I will say, 'Way to go Greg'. I say, 'Man you are making it'. I say, 'I cannot wait until I can do it'," said Blackburn.

Thanks to technology, he is already moving in the right direction. It has been a rocky journey that is far from over. Blackburn tells WYMT he has battled depression but now finds inspiration in physical shortcomings.

"I am going to tell you something, you can learn that when you come here, no matter how bad you are, there is somebody else that is worse off. That inspires me to witness to people, you know, and talk to them and just let them know that you can do it," said Blackburn.

While the path to recovery can seem like a lonely one, this man is not on his own. His daughter Beth, for example, visits him as often as possible.

"My dad means everything. The last few months have been really hard for us all but he has been such an inspiration and he has fought so hard and I could not be more proud of him," said Beth Blackburn.

On his birthday, when he needed a hug, his family surprised him with one.

"Our whole world has been turned upside down but he has worked so hard and I know that he is not going to give up," said Beth Blackburn.

In the end, Tracy Blackburn said no matter the setback his plan for the future remains unchanged.

"What my goal is, I want to stand the tallest ladder against the wall and I am going to take one step at a time and my goal is to get to the top of that ladder to jump as far off as I can. Every time I take a step, I know I am not going down. I know I may not make it to the top, but boy, when you look down, you will see how far you have made it," said Blackburn.

Beth Blackburn graduates from the University of Pikeville in May. Blackburn said he will be there to see her walk across the stage.


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