Spinal Cord Injury

CASE STUDY

Spinal Cord Injuries Can Happen in an Instant

My story began two years ago when driving along a highway to my granddaughter’s birthday party. While changing radio stations, I suddenly lost control of my car when the front tire burst and my car flipped over. I experienced a severe jerk of my neck with a distinct clicking sound. Upon trying to get out of the car, I realized that I had lost most of my arm movement and had no leg movement. I could not imagine at that time just how much this injury would change my life forever.

I was rushed to the hospital where many tests were performed on my neck. The dreadful diagnosis was that I was quadriplegic with a C6 level and that a large bony spur was pressing on my spinal cord. I was told that I needed an operation through the front of my neck to remove the bone fragments that were pressing against the spinal cord.

Several days after the operation, I had regained no movement of my hands and wrists on both sides. Doctors painted a very dismal picture of ever being able to use my hands normally or being able to walk again.

Paralysis and loss of feeling in my arms and legs is devastating. Perhaps the greatest problem is the lack of bladder and bowel control. Fortunately, insurance and family support was available for me to return home. I require nearly 24-7 care from either members of my family or nurses.

If it were not for the encouragement of my family, I would not want to live. My hope is that someday scientific breakthroughs may help me live independently again. As much as my injury has affected my life, it has greatly changed the lives of my family who continue to provide all the support they can. The scientists at NeuroCures give me hope. They are advancing our knowledge of spinal cord injury. Their team has proven that timing, decompression and temperature control can be key factors in better outcomes, helping patients regain lost function and lead fuller lives.