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Thread: Hope lost?

  1. #1

    Hope lost?

    My younger brother was recently in a car accident and is paralyzed from the neck down. His injury is from C3 to C7 and his spinal cord showed no fluid on either side at the injured area. He had no feeling below the neck when he first arrived at the hospital and eventually was placed on a respirator. It has been almost two weeks since the accident but within the last day he has managed to recover some breathing function but is still on a respirator, and still unable to move anything other than his head, neck and shoulders. We have been hoping that once decompression surgery was done that he would have a chance for recovery but were heartbroken to hear that this was highly unlikely and also that he could be facing life and death situations such as blood clots, infections etc... The surgery we are told is only preventative and not for recovery of his injury. As many times as the doctors keep telling me there is no hope for recovery, I cannot help but hold on to my thoughts that he will recover. In the last year and a half my family has suffered the loss of both my Mom and Dad and now feel as if we are facing the same with my brother. Has anyone had a similar injury and had some recovery or is all hope lost.....

  2. #2
    harberrat, I just sent you a PM, and you should not lose hope at any cost, and neither should your brother!!!

    Take care all!


  3. #3
    My husband fell from a tree in Oct 08.
    I am trying to think of what I wish someone would or could have told me then to be of some help. I am sorry this has happened to you.
    Hope is not lost. It depends on what you mean by recovery. We have accepted many things in increments. His break was C4, but some spinal injury in C2,3 area. He is paralyzed from shoulders down and has been that way since right after his fall. He uses a ventilator at night.
    It can all be pretty overwhelming at first.
    I am new to this community. So far I am quite impressed by the info and wish I had known of it before.
    How old is your brother?

  4. #4
    Harberrat, welcome to CareCure. You will find this an extremely helpful site, filled with people who have been - and still are - there, as well as with caregivers, nurses, and the incomparable Dr. Wise Young. You can tap into the integrated person-centuries of experience and into the most up-to-date knowledge of SCI anywhere.

    To your question - the one thing that seems to be certain about SCI is that nothing is certain.
    Hope for the best, but plan for what appears to be the case at the time. Whatever happens, you'll manage to live with it.

    In the meantime, there's a lot to learn and manage. Your brother needs an advocate to speak up for him and to keep track of the various doctors and specialties, insurance issues, medical equipment issues, care issues, and on and on. Will you be playing that role? It's a tough one, but it will make a huge difference to your brother. In time he will be able to take over these things, but that will take a while.

    Best wishes
    - Richard

  5. #5
    I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. I can't imagine what it would be like to be that hurt. I didn't need a respirator or anything like that but I have recovered a level of function. Not much more than that unfortunately and not completely but typically after the spinal cord comes out of spinal shock, he may recover a little bit of function and you never know what's going to happen in the future. It's all very uncertain at this point if that okay yeah okay
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  6. #6
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    very sorry for what you and your family are going through. there is much to learn here. lots of support, and many here who know what you are going through, as well as expert Dr and nurse. many here pray as well. hope is not lost.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    don't give up hope, my bro went through the same thing your going through. Its hard but remember its still him. He's probably all you have right now so keep strong.
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;

    For stalkers convenience:
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  8. #8
    Welcome to our forums. As others have said, never give up hope. That leads to despair and "hopelessness". There is so much of life still available to your brother, even in the worst case of no further return. The fact that he is getting some diaphragm movement, and can move his shoulders are all good signs of potential to get off the ventilator, which would mean either an incomplete injury or one lower than C3. Time will tell.

    More importantly at this time is getting your brother to an appropriate specialty SCI Center ASAP. Where is he now? Is he a military veteran?

    It is also critical that measures are taken to prevent pressure ulcers. A family member needs to inspect his entire skin surface daily with a nurse. Any pinkness or redness that does not fade in 20 minutes is reason for alarm. Open areas are already pressure ulcers. Insist on regular turning. Since I assume he is on VAP precautions with head of bed elevation constantly, he is at MAJOR risk for sacral pressure ulcers. He should be on a high tech pressure reducing low air loss mattress, but he still needs to be turned at least every 2 hours. A pressure ulcer now would be disasterous for his rehabilitation and future qualify of life.

    Please come back and post your questions. We can help.


  9. #9
    SCI nurse said everything I would have said if I knew how to.
    All of those things are crucial. Dave was fortunate to be in a local hospital that did these things, so his skin was in good shape when he went to a rehab hospital 5 weeks after his accident. Some people were not and it delayed their rehab. He was able to wean off of the vent at the rehab hospital. Even though the local hospital did a good job, they rarely see SCI injuries like this.
    Dave was at Craig Hospital in CO for 3 months. Is there a social worker or anyone who can check into getting him to a specialty hospital?This is all overwhelming. I woke up this morning thinking about you. Please write again.
    As SCI nurse said,INSIST on the turning.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Hampshire, England.
    What should be the motto for the newly injured and their families, "be prepared for the worst but hope for the best", it's far too early to tell how much return he will get.

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