Jack Jablonski leaves rehab center for a new home

4:36 PM, Apr 18, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- After three and a half months of physical therapy at the Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Minneapolis, Jack Jablonski gets to go home.

Jablonski's strength was tested over and over again as he tried to recover from a hockey injury on Dec. 30 that left him paralyzed. Doctors warned he wouldn't get much movement back but on Wednesday, Jablonski emerged from an elevator with no neck brace and was driving his own wheelchair.

"I guess I'm stronger than I thought," the Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player said.

Behind Jablonski was an army of nurses. Some of them even came in on their day off to say goodbye.

"He's just incredibly positive and, you know, you see all the progress," said Beth Gauthier, a registered nurse who worked with Jablonski.

His family said they are excited to have Jack back but will miss the people who helped them come this far.

"It's really hard to leave the support and we've become very attached to everybody but he's ready for the next step," Jack's mom Leslie Jablonski said.

The next step will be physical therapy from home. Jablonski will be moving into an apartment while his family's home is renovated to be handicap accessible. His family expects to be able to move back into their home sometime before the fall.

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