UNL student dances through rehab - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

UNL student dances through rehab

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By: Hannah Paczkowski
hpaczkowski@klkntv.com

At one point, you couldn't get Isra Somanas off of a bicycle.

"I used to live in the seat on my bike basically," he said.

On July 15, his bike riding days ended.

Isra was coming home after swing dancing with friends when he was hit by a car on West O Street. He suffered major injuries including a broken pelvis, collapsed lung and massive swelling to his brain. Isra was put into a medically-induced coma for several days.

"My brain felt like it was dragging around a two–ton bolder when I had to think and things like that," he said.

As Isra started rehab, doctors were unsure how long it would take for him to be back on his feet, let alone ride a bike or dance.

In less than 40 days, he hit the dance floor.

"To have that complete recovery and to be that independent and stable and safe, it's very rare to see that in that short amount of time," occupational therapist Brooke Murtaugh said.

Isra can go back to doing one of his favorite things, swing dancing.

"It's a declaration of freedom, I'm saying I'm free, I'm free to dance, I'm free to do what I want," he said.

Right now Isra said his biggest challenge is the restrictions he has to live with, like not being able to ride a bike. There's a high chance of suffering another traumatic brain injury if he were to hit his head again, but in about six months, he can finally put his feet back on the pedals.

"On July 15, 2014 I am going to find myself a bike and ride it!" he said.

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