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Award Goes to Therapist with Winning Way

A broken ankle sent Taylor-Kevin Isaacs into a personal struggle and a new career.

He was a professional soccer player seven years ago when an opponent crashed into him during a game.  Doctors wondered if he would ever walk again, but Isaacs fought his way back to full recovery.

Now, some seven years later, the 31-year-old Isaacs has traded his soccer uniform in for the garb of a Clinical Exercise Physiologist/Kinesiologist in the Center for Achievement at California State University, Northridge.

And he’s winning recognition for his achievements.  For the past two years he has been named MET-Rx World’s Best Personal Trainer in the category of “Deconditioned and Rehabilitation Exerciser.”  Most recently he won for his work with Aaron Baker, a 22-year-old former Thousand Oaks resident who was seriously injured in a 1999 motorcycle accident.

“I’m honored for myself, my department, my university, California and my country, South Africa.  But I’m mostly pleased with my clients,” Isaacs said.  “To see these chaps every day and to help them find a purpose in life.  There’s no stopping them.”

It’s been a harrowing 20 months since the accident in which Baker fractured two vertebrae during a practice run at a well-used field in Moorpark.  But Baker of Chatsworth is focused on the task at hand – another grueling day of physical therapy with Isaacs.  He’s already completed several cardiovascular warmups and he’s eager to begin.  He has one goal and that is to become completely independent.

“His recovery has been remarkable,” his mother, Laquita Conway, said.  “His walking has improved, he can dress himself and his self-confidence is building.  I truly believe that he’s in the finest hands possible.”

But the road to recovery hasn’t been an easy one, especially when it comes to financing the often expensive therapy and its associated medical costs.

It is for that reason alone that Conway, her son and his trainer are on a mission to pressure insurance companies into expanding their medical coverage.

“We need to shed light on the absolute necessity of ongoing therapy by a professional.  Insurance companies are too willing to cut off after a six- or 12-week program.  I’ve given up everything to be here for my son and to pay for his expenses, and there are a lot of people who can’t do that and shouldn’t be forced to,” Conway said.

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