There is a phenomenon that not many people have heard of but occurs more often than people realize, and that is when more than one person sustains a spinal cord injury in the same accident or when two family members have a spinal cord injury from separate incidents. Spinal cord injuries are more common than many people know, mainly because they can happen easily, from things like motor vehicle accidents to accidents as common as a fall. Here are two stories that exemplify this.
Meet Ashley and Nikki
Identical twins from Chicago, Illinois Ashley and Nikki are vibrant 24-year-olds who were paralyzed in March 2019. The vehicle they were in as passengers was hit by another car, causing them to hit a median. Nikki sustained a C4 injury and Ashley became a paraplegic as a result of the accident. There are not many identical twins in the world with spinal cord injuries, which makes their case rare, however, it shows that spinal cord injuries can happen to anyone at any time.
Fortunately, for the spinal cord injury community, Ashley and Nikki have decided to share their recovery journey post-injury online. Ashley already had a blog before her injury, and she is now blogging about her recovery and experiences in contrast to life pre-injury. You can read her musings and view her thoughts by visiting her blog here: https://ashleyllorens16.wordpress.com
Ashley and Nikki also have a joint Instagram account where they share their recovery as twins with paralysis. They share their highs and lows, as well as how they're moving forward in their new lives. Life with a new injury is especially difficult. Their story can help many with new injuries relate. View their Instagram account here: https://www.instagram.com/ashleynikkistory/
Brothers with Spinal Cord Injuries
Another series of incidents that show how spinal cord injuries can insanely happen to a family is the story of Adam and Matt Chaffee. They are brothers who were paralyzed in separate accidents. From the grand rapids, Michigan, Matt, the older brother, was paralyzed first in a motorcycle accident in 2014 while going 120 mph. His younger brother, Adam, was his PCA for a year until Adam became a quadriplegic after a fall off of a dock in 2015. Their story has been shown all over the media, showing the world how paralysis can strike a family twice.
After his injury, Adam was also fortunate enough to receive a stem cell injection in his neck, which is part of a study at Rush University Medical Center. He too is sharing his recovery online and his fighting spirit. Both brothers are known for their determination and are inspiring people across the world. Matt has taken on hand-cycling since his injury, which is now his passion and he takes part in marathons across the country. You can learn more about his 2020 Summer Paralympic goals here and help Matt receive a handcycle: https://www.gofundme.com/f/chasing-paralympic-dreams. You can also follow Adam and Matthew via their Instagram accounts at https://www.instagram.com/matthew.chaffee/ and https://www.instagram.com/realchaff/
While it may be sad to hear about stories of paralysis happening to a family on more than one occasion, we hope it helps the public understand how common spinal cord injuries can be. Something as playful as a fall off of a dock can cause a spinal cord injury and can change your life forever. If you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury, it is always important to remember that you're not alone and there are people out there just like you.
Written by Spinal Cord TeamSpinalCord.com has been created as a resource for patients of spinal cord injuries and their families. Find everything you need to learn more about your injury, locate a doctor or treatment center, or discover financial relief to support you through this difficult time.
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