Just a few weeks before the Independence Day celebrations of July 4, Toyota pulled through with $300,000 of last-minute funding for a United States veteran’s dream of opening a recovery center for spinal cord injury patents.
It all started when Chief Warrant Officer Romy Camargo’s Army detachment started taking enemy fire on September 16, 2008 while on a humanitarian mission in Afghanistan. In the midst of the firefight, Camargo fell limp to the ground with a bullet wound to the back of his neck. Camargo’s life would never be the same.
Camargo was quickly transported back to the U.S. where his treatments began. The doctors gave him little hope of living, but his pulled through. He eventually grew strong enough to breath without a ventilator and began the long road of physical therapy. Though his doctors say his chances of walking are slim, his determination says otherwise.
Camargo and his wife Gaby spent many hours on the road traveling from their home in Tampa, Florida to a therapy center in Orlando. It was during that time the couple set their sights on opening a state-of-the-art facility in their hometown that would cater to veterans and civilians alike who suffer from spinal cord injuries.
As the June 2015 closed out, the Camargo’s dream opened up. With the help of Toyota and several other key sponsors – along with thousands of volunteers – Stay In Step opened its doors.
What’s more, Toyota donated a 2015 Toyota Sienna minivan fully equipped with a mobility ramp for Stay In Step to use. Located adjacent to Tampa’s medical hub, Stay In Step serves as a regional center for SCI injuries. The center is stocked with the latest in physical therapy equipment, including a Toyota-engineered robot that assists in walking movements.
Simon Nagata, Toyota’s Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer was present for Stay In Step’s grand opening and personally handed Romy the keys to the new Sienna.
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