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Daughter's birthday present is Middletown dad's release from spinal rehab

Unable to walk after falling off a ladder, a Middletown family celebrates giant steps.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — Mauricio Espinoza, a father of four from Middletown, estimated he fell more than 22 feet from a ladder when he was trimming tree limbs back in September.

Espinoza has spent the past two months intensely rehabbing at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford. Two months ago, Espinoza could barely move his toes, but after working with the team at Gaylord, he is now back on his feet.

“I am so grateful to Gaylord for the team that they have to help me work every day to push me every day,” said Espinoza.

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On Wednesday, another goal was realized: Espinoza was released from Gaylord Hospital. What made the day extra special is that it happened to be his daughter Luna’s fourth birthday. Walking out of the hospital under his own power, he says, is the best gift he could give.

“It couldn’t be more of a perfect day,” Espinoza said, “I really wanted to be out of the hospital for her, that’s what pushed me every day towards the goal of walking out of Gaylord, it’s amazing.”

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Dr. David Rosenblum, a Doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, has been working with Espinoza for most of the past two months.

“He is walking and he’s hugging his kids, it’s remarkable.” Rosenblum said and added, “It means the world, it’s why we do what we do, it’s the most powerful thing we can do in medicine.”

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Espinoza, who works for a steel company, is now home and will undergo at least four more months of outpatient rehab. His family has set up a GoFundMe page for him to help with the high medical costs he has incurred from his accident. You can find out more here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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