Produced in 2004
Total Running Tiem: 50 minutes
Produced & Directed By: Bill Hayes, Stacie Schwarz, Lisa Thomson
Miracle Steps is about Gemma’s remarkable attempts to regain use of her paralyzed body. We follow Gemma from the time of her tragic accident to the present and spend almost two years observing her ups and downs in a very intimate portrait her quest to walk again.
Twenty year old Gemma Quinn has been paralyzed from the neck down for over eleven years. In spite of being a tetraplegic, Gemma has finished the English equivalent of high school, written a play for the Paul McCartney theater in her home town of Liverpool, England, designs clothes, traveled around the United States and Europe and is a spokesperson for the U.K. Charity Spinal Research. She is the recipient of a courage award and had a personal meeting with Princess Diana. Gemma is an extraordinary young woman.
When her father, Mike, learned that an unusual man in London who calls himself a mind instructor had helped a paraplegic woman walk after all others had given her no chance to do so, he thought he and Gemma should explore the situation. They did and the results have made worldwide headlines. The BBC reported her progress as “Miracle Steps”.
Miracle Steps is about Gemma’s remarkable attempts to regain use of her paralyzed body. We follow Gemma from the time of her tragic accident to the present and spend almost two years observing her ups and downs in a very intimate portrait her quest to walk again. Our cameras and Gemma’s diary camera record raw moments of success and failures.
We watch as the mind instructor, Hratch Ogali, a very unusual man with a clinic in the heart of London who has no former medical training, is able to help Gemma move her feet and hands and ultimately feel pain for the first time in eleven years. The mind instructor’s work with Gemma can best be described as very aggressive psycho/physio therapy with aspects of personal training and healing used to achieve unexpected results with Gemma and other patients.
We juxtapose Gemma’s story with the story of another paralyzed patient of the mind instructor and the stories of two paralyzed young men receiving treatment at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Doctors and researchers at the Miami Project are employing high tech equipment to pursue and record the results of similar very aggressive physical therapy. Their results have also been extraordinarily encouraging.
Our documentary is hosted by and dedicated to Christopher Reeve, who received a letter from and wrote to Gemma shortly after he was paralyzed eight years ago. Gemma’s story is very timely and is certain to inspire countless people whether they are paralyzed or not.