Former Guillain-Barré Patient at HealthSouth Sarasota to Compete for American Ninja Warrior


Only able to move her kneecaps and one finger when she was admitted to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota in June 2015, Cintia Manasseh-Caputo was determined to make a full recovery. Manasseh-Caputo, 36 of Bradenton, Florida, lived a very active lifestyle prior to an onset of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) frequenting fitness boot camps and personal training classes and working as a hairstylist.

GBS, a rare immune disease that attacks the peripheral nervous system, resulted in her suffering approximately 98 percent paralysis. After admission to the hospital, she stayed in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center for three weeks and was put into an induced coma for 11 of those days so she could be intubated following heart and respiratory failure. Her stay in the ICU occurred just five weeks after getting married to her husband Darren.

To rebuild strength and regain function, she was transferred to HealthSouth Sarasota where she was an inpatient for one month. When not participating in three hours of comprehensive therapy each day, Manasseh-Caputo discovered an interest in the reality television show “American Ninja Warrior.” On the show, competitors attempt to complete a challenging obstacle course without falling off of the course in the quest of winning the grand prize of $1M in the finale.

“Cintia was one of the hardest working patients I’ve ever had,” said Jaime Sanchez, a physical therapist who was part of Manasseh-Caputo’s therapy team at HealthSouth Sarasota. “She had so much perseverance and determination. To watch her recover by leaps and bounds was amazing.”

Manasseh-Caputo’s determination showed as she was discharged from HealthSouth Sarasota on July 10, 2015. She walked out of the hospital using a walker and got back to her active lifestyle and her fitness boot camps including one specifically designed to prepare contestants for “American Ninja Warrior.”

Manasseh-Caputo will show the world what hard work and a fighting attitude can do as she competes and is filmed in Atlanta on Friday, March 18. She will not know whether or not her story and obstacle course attempt will air on the show scheduled for Friday, July 1 on the Esquire Network; but her amazing story of triumph over a rare debilitating disease is enough proof that she will have her mind focused on the challenge.

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Ginger Mace

Ginger Mace

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