Local Woman Fights to Walk, Fulfills Dream of Riding at Peloton Studios
December 2022, just a week before Rachael Enright, an athletic, healthy mother of 3 left for a long awaited-trip to New York for a class at the Peloton studio, she was given a life-altering diagnosis disrupting her dreams.
“They diagnosed me with a small vascular tumor the size of like a raspberry inside my spinal cord, and that I needed surgery pretty much immediately," Enright said.
Because of where the tumor was, removing it meant Rachael wouldn’t be able to move her legs temporarily. Despite the physical and emotional challenges, she approached the journey ahead with hope.
"There was just a weird, I knew it was going to be okay kind of moment. And I knew at that point that I was going to get through it, Enright said.”
With the support of her family and friends, Rachael embarked on her path to recovery.
“After something like a neurological happens, your body tries as much as it can do to try and get you better on its own,” Natasha Mehta, MD, OhioHealth Neuroscience Physician said. "But, it helps the body if we do some sort of structured rehab.”
Movement became Rachael's medicine, and she stayed determined to regain her mobility. Dr. Natasha Mehta and a team of therapists supported her every step of the way.
“My doctors at the rehab, my physical therapist, my occupational therapist, everybody has just been phenomenal at the OhioHealth Rehab hospital," Enright said. "I don’t know if my recovery would have been as good had I not had this kind of team. And I fortunately have my beautiful kids, my husband, my family, my friends, like my support group that were just there the whole time. You just got to think of something that you want to get better for.”
“Rachel is very, very positive," Dr. Mehta said. "She has a lot of internal motivation but then around her, her social support network continues to lift her up. Because you are going to have bad days I mean, recovering from something like a spinal cord injury is essentially like marathon training every single day.”
But her progress was exceptional. She soon set her sights on a remarkable goal… returning to the Peloton class.
“I want it to be the ultimate recovery. I want to get back on that bike,” Enright said. "Even if I can't feel my legs, I can still move them.”
Just last month, Rachael's dream finally became a reality. With the help from the Peloton team, she took a class with her favorite instructor at the studio in New York.
“Walking into the studio, they knew I was coming. I had my own personal assistant who helped me with absolutely everything.,” Enright said. "And it just felt like people care. I just felt like ‘I did this.’ It was another motivating factor, I’m going to come back here again and I will come back without my walker this time.”
“I am so impressed with Rachael, and how much she has shown how the body can be very resilient, and the mind can be very resilient. I think everyone can learn from that," Dr. Mehta said.
And her message for you?
“You're still alive, you're still breathing. Just keep going.”