Logan Student Interns Provide Life-Changing Care to Patient
Ryan Butler’s doctors told him he would never walk again.
For the 27-year-old single father of three
children, the news couldn’t get any
worse. Ryan spent his career as a
personal trainer and body builder before
a dangerous combination of alcohol and
painkillers he was taking for torn
shoulder ligaments resulted in falling
into a two-month coma.
When Ryan woke up, his body was
paralyzed from the neck down.
Ryan began treatment at a rehabilitation
center, but after many months, his
condition had barely improved. “They
said I would never walk again, so the
treatment I received was basically how to
live my life without walking,” he said. “It
really bothered me, and in one year, no
progress was made.”
In October 2010, Ryan visited the
Montgomery Health Clinic on the
Logan College of Chiropractic/University
Programs campus at the recommendation
of his aunt who works as a hair stylist. She
had a customer who attended Logan and
urged Ryan to schedule an appointment.
While he didn’t know anything about
chiropractic or Logan prior to his arrival,
Ryan said the warm welcome made a
great first impression.
He was assigned to supervising clinician
Dr. Maxine Stewart and August 2011
Logan graduate Dr. Michael Harbison,
who at the time was a Logan senior
student intern and is now enrolled in
Logan’s Master of Science Degree in
Nutrition and Human Performance.
With similar interests and backgrounds,
the two immediately connected, and
right away Ryan noticed a difference in
the care he was receiving.
“They basically explained everything they
were doing from what each muscle did, to
where to focus my energy,” he said. “The
educational component was huge.”
According to Dr. Stewart, a
revealed Ryan’s nervous system
still possessed the necessary
foundation for neuronal
plasticity, which meant he was a
good candidate for chiropractic
care and rehabilitation. Ryan
started visiting Logan three
times a week. In the beginning,
Dr. Harbison would stretch his
hamstrings and psoas muscle to
get his hips moving again.
Within a few months, Ryan
was able to stand up and take
several steps. Soon, those steps
turned into short walks, and
eventually the treatment room
wasn’t big enough for the
distance Ryan was able to go.
“It felt really good,” he said. “I became
really hopeful because every time I came
here, they got me to do something I
wasn’t able to do before. When I first
came in, I couldn’t lift myself up, but
they got me to do it after a month.”
Around the time Dr. Harbison was
graduating from Logan, senior intern
Gagandeep Gill, who also had a strong
interest and background in neurology,
prepared to take over Ryan’s chiropractic
care treatment. Between Dr. Harbison’s
foundation and Gagandeep’s new
perspective on his patient’s condition,
Ryan began making significant progress
in regaining his ability to walk and stand.
“Dr. Harbison didn’t want to overdo it
because Ryan’s brain pathways were
very dampened,” said Gagandeep. “So
I started a slightly different treatment
and got him to a stage where I could
electrically stimulate his tricep muscle
and strengthened his core.”
Gagandeep said whenever he had Ryan
try to walk, he was teaching him how to
shift his body weight.
“On a good day, he was walking 800 feet
back and forth, and nine times out of 10,
he could walk without our help.”
While it is Ryan who credits his doctors
for his ability to walk, Gagandeep
acknowledges the Logan community for
their support—not just clinically, but
philanthropically. When financial
difficulties nearly ended Ryan’s
treatment, the members of two Logan
fraternities came to his aid.
“Gagandeep told me what was going on
with Ryan, and I thought we should help
him out,” said Logan student Elra
Morgan, executive board member of the
Lambda Kappa Chi fraternity, who
organized a donation drive with their
The two organizations raised enough
money to purchase several hundred
gasoline gift cards so Ryan could
continue his life-changing care.
Ryan said he doesn’t know of another
place where the people are so
encouraging. “I feel like the whole Logan
community is behind me,” he said.
Every day, Ryan makes walking his focus
and now has his sight set on future goals,
such as finishing college, starting a career
and being able to run with his kids,
especially his daughter who took his
disability the hardest. He said coming to
Logan makes him feel confident that
he’ll be able to walk again for her.
During a recent trip to Logan, Ryan told
his student intern that he had a dream
he was running.
“Soon. Very soon,” Gagandeep said.
“You can never tell someone he or she
can’t do something.”
Pictured (left to right): Tri-9 intern Jason Martinez, Ryan Butler,
Dr. Gagandeep Gill and Dr. Elra Morgan.