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Man learns to walk again thanks to donation from stranger

After more than eight years confined to a wheelchair, a local man's prayers are finally getting answered.TV5 f...

Posted: Mar 16, 2018 7:42 PM
Updated: Mar 16, 2018 7:42 PM

After more than eight years confined to a wheelchair, a local man's prayers are finally getting answered.

TV5 first introduced you to Corey Zielenski in January when we told you about his wish to be able to walk again with the help of a pair of bionic legs.

Those legs came with a hefty price tag though; one Zielenski couldn't afford.

Thanks to a generous act of kindness, his wish came true on March 15.

Step by step, Zielenski walked into his new life.

"Walking my daughter down the aisle. I can do that," he said. "When you're told that you're not going to be able to walk ever again and then being able to just stand up and move those legs again, it's, I mean, there's not words. Just no words."

It was eight years ago when Zielenski fell from a tree stand. He woke up paralyzed from the waist down.

"If you've ever had someone close to you die, that's what it feels like. Every single day because you're reminded of it every day that you wake up. Your bottom half is just dead," he said.

After several years of despair, Zielenski found that light at the end of the tunnel – a special machine by the company ReWalk.

The machine not only allows Zielenski to stand up and walk on his own, but it gives him hope.

"When someone tells you you can't walk and then someone says you can, yeah, let's do it. Let's go," he said.

That's when Zielenski hit a road block. His insurance wouldn't cover it. With a price tag of more than $80,000, paying out of pocket was not an option.

TV5 featured Zielenski in a Rescue Squad segment and a viewer called right away.

"Oakland Orthopedics, Corey Smith. It hasn't even finished yet and the story didn't even finish yet and he was on the phone with me, telling me that we'll figure it out," Zielenski said.

That's exactly what Smith did with help from ReWalk. They gave Zielenski his very own machine allowing him to walk once again.

"I don't know what to say that they've given me, not just me, they've given my family the opportunity to see me walk. It seems so trivial, but when it's taken away from you and you're able to do it again, I don't know what to say," Zielenski said.

It's not easy work. Zielenski has to attend several more training sessions. But Zachary Waugh, with ReWalk, said he is off to a good start.

"Corey's doing a really great job. He's super motivated, which helps. Having that motivation is key," Waugh said.

As Zielenski keeps on keeping on, he knows it's those baby steps that count the most.

"I learned to walk one before and I'll learn this," he said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
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Newton144345
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Brown135346
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Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
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