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.
However, as much as loved ones can offer their assistance, it truly takes someone who knows to understand the full physical and emotional ramifications of an SCI. That’s where inspirational stories of recovery and those facing similar circumstances can offer respite. In the hopes that they can provide some compassion and understanding, here are a few of the most notable blogs created by spinal cord injury survivors.
- April Otwell: When she was just 14 years old, April was involved in a four-wheeler accident that broke her neck at C3, C4 and C5, but her paralysis -- and the 2016 passing of her beloved mother -- haven’t kept her from being a beacon of pushing through life’s challenges. For years, she has remained stalwart in her quest for recovery, and her website is loaded of inspirational personal accounts and useful information for anyone who has experienced an SCI.
- Jared’s Journey: At the forefront of entering college, Jared Grier suffered a dangerous fall that left the mechanical engineering major a quadriplegic. Yet, despite this, he has continued to keep building towards a brighter future, offering regular updates in part thanks to his loved ones. Though Jared continues to fight his own battle through rehabilitation, he is still determined to keep fighting and inspire others along the way.
- Nathan’s Recovery Blog: Nathan Kirwan approaches his spinal cord injury and recovery with such earnestness that his blog is not only a great read for those suffering from SCI but for anyone in search of some perspective. Even more than most accounts of SCI survivors making their way back through recovery, he delves deep into even the most intensely personal aspects of his struggle. His tone and variety of content easily make his among the very best blogs of his kind.
- Love Like This Life: Marriage is challenging enough without a drastic twist of fate, but Michael and Dana Ritter have continued to thrive even after damage to his C5 and C6 vertebrae left Michael a quadriplegic. Through their love, the Ritters are bound and determined to inspire others facing similar troubles. Their blog -- centered on not only Michael’s disability but also their marriage as a whole -- is a prime example of how love can truly transcend anything.
- Scott W. Fedor: Scott’s world changed forever when he broke his neck at C3 during a diving accident, leading to a near-drowning, complete spinal cord injury, and cardiac and respiratory arrest. Despite that terrifying brush with fate, Scott has kept his site updated with fresh blog entries chronicling his often-daily struggle to stay positive, reflecting on his life and the ongoing trials of his condition. An excellent read for any SCI survivors searching for a glimpse into another’s soul.
- Tetraplegic Living: While the author of this blog experienced his SCI more than 30 years ago due to a swimming pool accident, he continues to share the lasting impact that the event has had on his life. Offering an in-depth look into his past and his present struggles with his condition, Penn shares intimate details of his life, with the overall message that life is whatever you perceive it to be regardless of your circumstances.
- Arash Recovery: Arash, the author of this blog, was an athlete and travel enthusiast prior to his devastating SCI. Yet, he persists with a positive attitude, choosing to look at the bright side of his life. Taking on each day with a steely resolve, he tracks his progress -- including both the ups and downs that it entails -- for the purpose of uplifting fellow survivors. This blog is especially strong for active young men who find themselves facing a disability that hinders their former lifestyle.
In This Together
Although life after an SCI may not be the same again, it’s imperative that those affected never give up hope. New treatment options are being developed all the time using state-of-the-art technology and innovative approaches. Moreover, the stories of others who are dealing with the same struggle can help provide motivation to stay strong and the freedom to embrace the complex emotional journey that inextricably accompanies the physical one.
The blogs we’ve detailed above center on survivors who exude an admirable amount of strength, and we can only hope that their decision to openly and honestly discuss their conditions can provide you with a stronger sense of resolve and more vigorous determination to seek treatment and face every day with the same positivity and hope about tomorrow.
Written by Robert Yaniz Jr.Robert Yaniz Jr. has been a professional writer for more than a decade, including print and online publishing. His experience includes writing various materials for the marketing communications department of a global law firm.
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