20.6 million Americans live with some form of ambulatory disability, requiring a mobility device, according to the Split Second Foundation.
“Many of these people face an isolated world with few social interactions, health complications, a higher risk of suicide, a shorter life expectancy and few places to turn to,” they wrote on their website.
Mark Raymond, a quadriplegic, wanted to give these people a place where they can feel included, supported and have access to adequate fitness centers.
After a life-changing accident in 2016, Raymond founded the Split Second Foundation and opened an inclusive gym in Louisiana that is accessible for people with disabilities, where they can have access to fitness and recovery support.
Split Second Fitness has specialized equipment for people who have different disabling conditions, live in a wheelchair, have a prosthetic leg, etc. The staff there really understands their needs and how to work with these individuals.
“We are that loving part of the community that really understands them as a person, but also their physical limitations and needs,” Raymond said. “And we’re able to push them in a recovery driven fitness environment to be their best self.”
Back in 2016, Raymond was out boating with his friends when he dove off the back of the boat during the later part of the day, not realizing that the tide had gone down. He ended up hitting his forehead on the sandy bottom and shattered the C5 vertebrae in his neck, which resulted in paralysis.
Through his months of recovery, he quickly discovered the lack of resources for disabled people, which made him want to do something to help others like him. That’s when Split Second Foundation was born, along with the fitness center.
In addition to the foundation and gym, he also started “Split Second Care,” a reintegration program for those who have suffered from a spinal cord injury or any kind of neurological disorder. The program helps patients who are going through rehab transition back into society. They also provide other services for those living with paralysis or amputation.
Learn more about Split Second Foundation and this amazing gym in the video below: