A space oddity

The 2014 Tribute Dinner on Sept. 18 hosted by Joseph’s Health Care Foundation eclipsed all dinners. The event showcased new frontiers in rehabilitative care at with astronaut Chris Hadfield sharing his own out-of-this-world story of reclaiming his body after returning to earth. 

Hadfield’s space flight gave him new insight, and a rapidly aged body. Aboard the International Space Station, millions watched the first Canadian commander lift a refrigerator with one finger, but back on earth the popular astronaut could barely lift his own weight. Not only did he have to adjust to what he referred to as the “relentless oppression of gravity,” but nearly half a year in space had decreased his bone density by eight per cent, hardened his blood vessels and deteriorated his overall muscle mass.

Chris Hadfield

With intensive rehabilitation Hadfield was able to reverse the damage, recover and get back to his active lifestyle. He is now part of a larger group being studied to safeguard humans in space and gain new insight into why and how the body ages.

Watch how the Locomotor Training Program at Parkwood Institute (watch video on YouTube) is giving hope to people with spinal cord injury.