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Thread: My friend got shot in the neck and is paralized what can I do???

  1. #1

    My friend got shot in the neck and is paralized what can I do???

    About 38 days ago my friend was accidentally shot in the neck at about point blank range w/a 40 cal. and his 4th and 5th vertabre have been fractured,he is paralized from the shoulders down now,no arteries have been compramised,his spinal cord is intact and has no fragments in it nor has been severed at all. he has a trech,feeding tube,cathidere and has been aware and concious thru the entire ordeal,he's about a 25 minute drive away from where I live now,so I visit him as often as possible and he talks pretty darn good over he's trech and eats regular food.What are the next steps I should take he's been out of the hospital for about a week now and is in a 24hr care facility(nursing home),I want to get him the best care he's on medicare/social security and is 25 yrs old~thanks alot and we can use as much help as we can get as we are clueless to what we should do????~Paul Tuttle

  2. #2
    Where is your friend located? Why did he go to a nursing home instead of to an acute SCI specialty rehabilitation center? Does he have no insurance? No family?

    How did he qualify for Medicare and Social Security already? Generally you must be disabled and on SSI or SSDI for at least 24 months before you can get Medicare. Was he disabled before? Was he working before? Are you sure he is not instead on Medicaid (not Medicare)? You cannot get SSDI unless you worked 40 quarters, which would be unusual for someone only 25 years old. SSI would be more common, but even that would not be paying anything to him within 38 days of an injury, and he would not be getting much income from SSI if he is in a nursing home paid by Medicaid.

    It is common with gun shot wounds to the neck that there is resulting significant and serious paralysis without the bullet going through the cord or even disrupting blood circulation to the cord, although both can occur. Most often the heat and shock wave formed by the bullet passing nearby the cord actually either "cooks" the cord tissue or burst the cell membranes of the neurons. Regardless, it will be at least 2 years before he will find out if he will get any return.

    Right now, he needs a friend, someone who can advocate for him, visit him often, and do everything in your power to get him out of a nursing home and into either a Model System SCI Center or at least a CARF accredited Spinal Cord System of Care.

    Are they working at getting his trach tube out? Why does he still have a feeding tube if he is eating and drinking?

    Just a few things from your post with spelling corrections as this can make it easier for you to use the search functions here:

    Catheter: a tube that is inserted into the bladder to drain urine.

    Trach (tracheostomy): a tube inserted into the trachea (windpipe) for use of a ventilator, breathing and suctioning.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    KLD,

    Though it may be rare, it is possible to have someone at 25 qualify for SSDI. I was 23 when I applied and was approved. I do have to say that I worked every year from 16 yrs old to the day of my injury and just made the 40 quarters.

    You covered the rest .

    Becky
    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bcsimpsons View Post
    KLD,

    Though it may be rare, it is possible to have someone at 25 qualify for SSDI. I was 23 when I applied and was approved. I do have to say that I worked every year from 16 yrs old to the day of my injury and just made the 40 quarters.

    You covered the rest .

    Becky
    You are right, but no one is getting SSDI within 38 days of their SCI unless they were already disabled prior to their SCI.

    Paul, who shot him? Is there homeowners or liability insurance that would provide him some funds for rehab?

    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 07-15-2009 at 09:25 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    You are right, but no one is getting SSDI within 38 days of their SCI unless they were already disabled prior to their SCI.

    Paul, who shot him? Is there homeowners or liability insurance that would provide him some funds for rehab?

    (KLD)

    First of all thank you for anwsering and helping out,My friend is now at a nursing home in venice,FL(sarasota county),he was accidentally shot by his brother,he has a father and step-mom that live here as well,I believe he is on medicaid as you statedand had/has no insurance,I've asked why they still have the trach in and they said they are leaving the trach in,as well as the feeding tube,just in case something else were to happen????,I'm going to check with his dad as the home where he was shot was being rented by his brother so I would assume they would have to have insurance......I try to keep him company as much as possible and I can see a marked difference in his general attitude when I'm/or his parents are there with him,Right now I think deppression/lonelyness is starting to get to him a bit,although he still can be upbeat at times.I just want the best for him as he deserves it,I'm not sure why they moved him into a nursing home it is heritage healthcare in venice,FL.I'm going to check on the home owners insurance,what should I do about getting them to take his trach out and his FT out???,he breathes good and talks so loud over the trach I can talk to him on the phone,What are the next steps I should take and do you have some questions that I can write down and ask the doctors and the nurses so I can get more specific information for you????~I'll be checking the board often and cannot put into words how much this community means to me and my friend,I just want to see him happy again~thank you so much,your friend~paul

  6. #6
    Senior Member Riaan's Avatar
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    Regardless, it will be at least 2 years before he will find out if he will get any return.
    Nurse is it not in the first 2 years off your accident that you recover the most?

  7. #7
    Riaan, that is correct, but I think a more pressing issue at this point is getting his friend some rehab (which he has not had) and getting him OUT of the nursing home. Hopefully some of our Florida friends can help.

    Paul, since you sent me an identical PM of your message above, I answered you with a PM. If you want me to post what I wrote to you on this thread as well (making it public) , please let me know.

    (KLD)

  8. #8
    Hi Paul (and others who may read this),

    Regarding the feeding tube (gastric tube; g-tube for short)... when I started eating a normal diet 4 months post injury (after apparently being among the first vent users to do swallow therapy exercises; more on that if desired) I wanted to get rid of my g-tube. But my primary home nurse convinced me to: "keep it for 6 months, and if we've had no issues for which a g-tube is beneficial, then get it removed."

    I'm quite glad she suggested that because, though I didn't have any issues in the 6 months, I learned how valuable the g-tube can be for water & meds while I sleep, and also for both gastric burping and big pills which I have trouble swallowing.

    Water & meds while I sleep is more than just a convenience thing. I probably wouldn't drink nearly as much if I had to wake-up to do so, consequently I get additional fluid intake I wouldn't otherwise get, and I'm sure that helps keeps my kidneys & bladder functioning well.

    Gastric burping is quite nice at times also. I don't know whether it's because of the vent or that I use a straw for drinking (or the Camelbak on my chair) but sometimes I swallow quite a bit of air. Sometimes we insert a 60 cc syringe (just the tube portion) into the g-tube, then cover the g-tube with a washcloth (otherwise it can spew a little) and burp me. I'm occasionally amazed at how much air is released, and I can quickly go from a general bloated feeling to a comfortable feeling. (Some of my nurses/caregivers are jealous.)

    And last but not least, I have quite a bit of trouble swallowing larger pills, so it's nice to have the option to dissolve some in water and take them via g-tube.

    So, despite eating by mouth for the last roughly 11.5 years, we've kept my g-tube, and I benefit the four ways above.

    Here's the best place I've found for buying g-tubes:

    http://www.jrsmedical.com/FEEDING_TUBES/nav.aspx

    My specific tube is BLD011224 on this page:

    http://www.jrsmedical.com/FEEDING_TU...8/product.aspx

    In the beginning, we were being charged $80 locally for the "industry leading g-tube" (I suppose that's what it was) but then I found that tube for $45 online (with free shipping on orders over $100; so we'd buy three at a time). But the above link for my g-tube shows an essentially identical g-tube to my original model.

    So we took a chance ordering the above (which is currently $28, also with free shipping over $100 and JRS Medical usually has good-to-excellent prices on many supplies) and my nurses like it as much or better than the more expensive g-tube (the external retention ring is softer against my stomach, plus one nurse told me the ports are all color-coded and labeled; I hope I'm remembering that accurately).

    Ok, that's about everything I know regarding g-tubes! (I know you didn't ask for all that, but others use the search feature as SCI-Nurse KLD pointed out, which is partly why I shared all that.)

    All that said, getting rid of a stoma and becoming "more normal" has merit also, probably psychologically, and also it would eliminate an expense too. So there are benefits both ways.

    Regarding your friend's depression, rehab should help significantly with that -- he'll learn things he can do, even if he doesn't get much functional return (which I pray he does). Also, you said y'all are in the Sarasota area, which is near Tampa, and we're trying to get an organization in the Tampa area equipped with some IKAN ("I can") Bowlers. They enable virtually anyone who can safely operate his/her wheelchair to bowl. It's much fun and can help with depression. If interested, see my signature for more info, including links to two videos.

    Good luck and may God bless your friend.

    Bill Miller
    Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

    I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.

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