Paralyzed Man Who Walks After 25 Years


This is the story of John Maclean a determined paralyzed man, who walks after 25 years:

John Maclean at the age of 22, he was a reserve-grade player for the precursor to the Australian National Rugby League – the New South Wales Rugby League, as well a burgeoning triathlete.

Those dreams were thought to have been shattered on June 27, 1988, when Maclean was struck from behind by an eight-ton truck while on the road training for the upcoming Nepean Triathlon on his bicycle. The collision left Maclean with a broken back, pelvis and right arm. From that moment on, Maclean was rendered a paraplegic.

From a moment in time when some would give up and fall, Maclean picked himself up – again, and again, and again. His determination undaunted, his resolve unwavering and his competitive fire burning more intense than ever, Maclean began to train, to compete, to win.

His first stop was a return to Nepean in 1994 where he became Australia’s first paraplegic triathlete. He then became the first person in a wheelchair to complete the Ironman World Championship in Kona, and the first to swim the treacherous English Channel — not once, but twice (1995, 1998). He even trained with the national wheelchair basketball team in 1995 as they prepared for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

After 25 years of being in a wheelchair, John started working with Ken Ware in 2013 and on day 4 he took his first unassisted steps. Since working with Ken, John has been able to walk leaving his wheelchair behind while strolling along the beach hand in hand with his wife and pick up his son. John’s goal is to now run on the beach and compete in an Ironman.


The ultimate dream Maclean speaks of is finishing what he started — to race Nepean, Australia’s oldest continuing triathlon — out of the wheelchair and on his own two feet. With the help of Neurophysicist Ken Ware, founder of Neurotricional Sciences, whom he met through mutual friend and 2012 Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs, Maclean is now walking.


John became a special case because of his circumstances, being a partial paraplegic, which meant some signals were able to get through and Ken was able to exploit those small pathways and create new, much larger ones relatively quickly, which meant obvious results, quickly,” he said. “There is no doubt John will complete this goal. He is an amazingly talented and strong individual, and he will keep progressing with his abilities between now and then.”

NeuroPhysics Functional Performance Training and Rehabilitation (NPTR) is a scientifically based and clinically proven method, which has broad applications across many aspects of rehabilitation and performance.

NPTR is a fully integrated, holistic program that engages all of the body’s systems in a unique way, to optimise recovery from a variety of conditions, as well as enhance physical performance and wellbeing.

NPTR is a method of activating communication in the nervous system that connects pathways in a manner that has not been previously discovered and explained. The therapy does not discriminate, as it focuses on treating the person, not the disorder, with results achieved in remarkable timescales.

NPTR is an exercise based program that utilises specific equipment and techniques to firstly assess the status and function of a client’s system, and then trigger the nervous system to self organize and return itself back to optimal function.

As stated in Frontiers In Physiology, in contrast to conventional physical therapies, this therapy involves no physical manipulation of the treated individual. Individuals perform the exercises on their own with instructive coaching support. The exercises are not tailored to particular presenting conditions: the same approach is used regardless of age, injury, medical history, or disorder. Treatment is a phased process. Session frequency during the brief initial treatment period may vary from daily, to alternating days, to several days apart, depending on the client. In the remainder of the first month, clients begin the self-administered, standardized progression of ongoing exercise programs for strengthening and maintaining physical and executive control.


Read more: The John Maclean Story: Standing Tall… |

Close Comments