As much as friends and family may try to relate, the aftermath of a spinal cord injury is something that only those who are living through can truly understand. Yet, following the emergence of such a severe medical condition, you may find yourself craving some way of seeing your struggle reflected back to you. There’s a real sense of community among those who have grappled with spinal cord injuries, and thankfully, many patients who are currently facing the very same questions that you are now have opened their hearts and fired up their computers to document their journeys.
A chip implanted into the brain of a spinal cord injury survivor now enables him to play Guitar Hero. The future is now when it comes to spinal cord injury research. With new breakthroughs every year, it’s possible we may see a cure for spinal cord injuries in the next few decades.
For Ian Burkhart, an implanted chip has proven life-changing. The same might one day be the case for many more SCI survivors.
For patients suffering from paralysis, hope may often seem dim, but for children facing some form of paralysis, the physical and emotional toll of the condition can weigh even heavier. No matter the cause of the resulting trauma, paralysis in children requires special attention and care to keep these young patients firmly on the road toward recovery.
Scientists have begun using stem cell injections to treat those who have been paralyzed in accidents resulting in a spinal cord injury. In March 2016, Kristopher Boesen (Kris) was in a car accident that paralyzed him from the neck down. After the accident, Kris had difficulty breathing on his own due to his injuries and was told he may never be able to regain control of his limbs again.
Most families and individuals have been fortunate enough to never have personally encountered a spinal cord injury (SCI), but for the thousands affected each year, an SCI is among the most devastating life events one can experience. Life is often never the same again after such an incident. So it falls to a patient’s family and friends to offer support and help him or her remain steadily on the difficult road to recovery and rehabilitation.
Those who participate in high-impact sports are the most likely to suffer from cervical fractures (a broken neck). In the US, “the overall incidence of cervical spine fracture without spinal cord injury is 3.0%.” There are a number of health complications that can follow an injury to the neck, and those who are able to walk again after it occurs are very lucky.
A spinal cord injury can be one of the most harrowing experiences an individual is forced to endure, but even such a devastating incident doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Spinal cord damage can certainly change the course of your life, leaving you to adapt to a new lifestyle.
However, there is still cause to keep hope alive. After all, many of those in a similar situation have seen significant improvement over time, and every day brings with it new possibilities.
A young boy has survived a catastrophic road traffic accident which left him with potentially fatal injuries.
Joseph Groh, a spinal cord injury survivor with a dogged commitment to helping others, never thought he would transition from the two wheels of his bike to the four years of his wheelchair. Where many spinal cord injury survivors might see nothing but hopelessness and frustration, Joe has always treated his life-changing injury as just another new life path.
The Joseph Groh Foundation, which Joe and his wife started just a few short months after Joe broke his neck, instructs catastrophic injury survivors to “Never look back. Never give up. Remain positive.” Joe hopes his story will inspire others to embrace those lofty goals.
Life can change in the blink of an eye, and for the 12,500 people who survive spinal cord injuries every year, life is forever altered. For Kristen and Jeff Sachs and their daughter Evie, Jeff's spinal cord injury is an unavoidable part of their lives, but by no means the focal point of their shared existence. Kristen is an avid blogger who shares the family's experiences at her blog, New Dawn. New Day. New Life. Sachs agreed to share her family's experiences with SpinalCord.com, and strives to serve as a beacon of hope and source of information to other families embarking upon the spinal cord injury journey.
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