HelpTequila.com

Reporting from OKC - July 2015

Recently, I was honored to win the title of Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma. The association is pushing us to go to the Ms. Wheelchair America competition at the end of July. Dan and I will drive now that we have an accessible van, and I hope to have some friends out there. I will have to canvas for donations until then to pay for entrance fees and travel. My Chicago bank North Community has changed its name to Byline Bank and anyone that would like to be a sponsor or support my Ms. Wheelchair America trip can use the bank or the PayPal method. Contact me at Hotmail or Facebook for any questions. Dan thinks it will be a good experience for me.

I work out at NeuroResources twice a week. Also, I am trying to get more lokomat therapy since I only receive 12 sessions a year in Oklahoma. Neuro is a great facility for people with SCI. It offers the use of gym equipment, along with the ability to give and exchange equipment and supplies. It is also a great way to socialize, but like many disability programs in Oklahoma it lacks funding.

I do some occasional work in bankruptcy law. I am interested in working in disability law, and Dan keeps throwing in Native American and environmental law as possibilities. This will be easier to do in Chicago due to the lack of contract work in Oklahoma. Dan is studying information science and game theory in his doctorate program and eventually wants to do research in exoskeleton computer technology.

I have started taking HGH to improve my energy level, muscle growth, and overall health. Eventually, I want to combine the HGH/exercise with stem cell and an exoskeleton (Hal Suit by Cyberdigne3: www.cyberdyne.jp/english)

As always, Dan and I are fighting with finding caregivers that will show up for $15 an hour; we have yet to be successful and have signed up for care.com recently. It appears that private nurses are the only way to go but are expensive.

We are looking at buying a house near Dan’s work, but Dan says we are back in Chicago the minute he graduates with his doctorate in computer science (Less than two years). If he finds a research job where he can still attend school, it may be earlier. We both look forward to returning to Chicago, and Dan wants to buy a house for me in Canaryville. So, if anyone knows of a great at home job for a quadriplegic lawyer and an Irish scientist in the making or a cheap fixer upper house in the city, let us know because we miss the City.


Reporting from OKC - July 2014

I work out at Neuro Resources twice a week. I am trying to get more lokomat[DD1] therapy since I only receive 15 sessions a year. Neuro is a great facility for people with SCI. It offers the use of gym equipment, along with the ability to give and exchange equipment and supplies. It is also a great social club for people but like many disability programs in Oklahoma it lacks funding and is under constant threat of closing.

I do some occasional work in bankruptcy law. I am interested in working in disability law eventually, and Dan keeps throwing Native American law as a possibility. This will be easier to do in Chicago due to the lack of contract work in OKC. Dan is studying information science and game theory in his doctorate program and eventually wants to do research in exoskeleton computer technology.

I am looking forward to starting human growth hormone therapy, and I’m going for a test very soon. Eventually, I want to combine the HGH/exercise with stem cell and an exoskeleton (Hal Suit by Cyberdigne3: http://www.cyberdyne.jp/english/).

As always, Dan and I are fighting with finding caregivers that will actually show up for $15 an hour; we have yet to be successful and have signed up for care.com recently. It appears that private nurses are the only way to go but are expensive.

Our slightly cramped home, strewn with equipment, supplies, and a friend of ours now staying with us, provides an air of entertainment. We are looking at buy a house near Dan’s work, but Dan says we are back in Chicago the minute he graduates with his doctorate in computer science (2 and half more years). If he finds a research job where he can still attend school, it may be earlier. We both look forward to returning to Chicago and Dan wants to buy a house in Canaryville with the rest of the crazy Irish. So, if anyone knows of a great home job for a quadriplegic lawyer and an Irish scientist in the making or a cheap fixer upper house in the city, let us know because we miss Chicago.


Tequila Mockingbird (Tahira Johnson)

July, 2009

Hey Folks,

I am still kicking in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City derby girls have been a great help both with fundraisers and donating their time. A large part of my life has been fighting with Medicaid and doing paperwork, since it turns out that Chicago's Medicaid program is much better than here; so, in a year, we plan to return to Chicago and may be just spending the worst of the winters in Oklahoma. I'm also hoping to return to work next year as a lawyer at least part time. Dan and I have been able see several of the derby games here, which were fantastic. I spend a lot of time working out, sitting on the porch reading, and playing with our pets.

I have walking therapy once or twice a week on the Lokamat, a robotic walking machine that exists in only a handful of cities across the country. Fortunately, two of those are in Chicago and Oklahoma City. I have been involved with the Oklahoma University Medical Center, Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, and various Medicaid home therapies. I am working on saving up for a recumbent cross training machine, and a stander, so I can do more therapy on my own; I would also eventually like to spend more time doing aqua-therapy. The rest of my workout is at home for now. Now that I am approaching the second anniversary of my injury, my strength and energy level have increased dramatically. My lungs in particular have regained some of their former strength. I can walk three hundred feet on a platform walker with very little assistance and over half an hour on the treadmill with a harness. With the help of Craig "Moose Ondaluce" Alleman, here in OKC, I am putting together a video of some of my progress. Thank all of you for your support. I will keep you updated as best I can.


On August 25, 2007, Tahirah Johnson, aka Tequila Mockingbird, a star Jammer for the Windy City Rollers team The Fury, took what at first seemed to be a run-of-the-mill tumble during a bout. But when she couldn't get up again, it was horribly apparent to everyone that something had gone very wrong. Johnson had sustained an injury to her C4 vertebrae, rendering her unable to move below the shoulders.

What's more, at the time Tahirah was self-employed as a project attorney and didn't have health insurance. While she concentrated on her recovery, fans and derby girls across the nation pitched in to help Johnson financially.

Tahirah is still wheelchair-bound, but thanks to therapy and rigorous workouts she is able to walk several hundred feet on a platform walker with a little assistance.