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Thread: Boyfriend now a c6 quadriplegic

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Philadelphia, Pa

    Boyfriend now a c6 quadriplegic

    On January 10th my 21 year old boyfriend of about seven years Jordan was in a terrible car accident on his way back to college in Erie Pa. He says there was about six inches of snow on the ground and the only other car on the road unfortunately didnt have enough time to react when his car spun out of control. He has a complete c6 and is considered "asia a." From what I have learned, he is pretty typical of most complete c6 quadriplegics. He can move his arms, shoulders, neck, and wrists. He has no feeling below his nipples, so he cant move his legs. His fusion surgery went well and now he is in a rehab facility in Philadelphia and I can visit him almost everyday.

    He has a very good attitude, all of the nurses love him and he wants to succeed as much as possible, and hopes that he can at least get the use of his hands. Before coming to rehab, in the icu, he didn't think it would be this bad. His expectations were that he would at least gain movement in his fingers. Now, about a week into rehab, he feels like it wont come back unless a miracle in him happens or if a cure for SCI is found.

    I love him so much and sometimes he tells me he can't live like this. He was very hopeful and I am scared that he is running out of hope and that my cheerleading isnt working anymore.

    How likely do you think it will be that he will be able to use his hands again? Either due to a cure or his own body?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Philadelphia, Pa
    Also he is very determined ,80% of the time is happyish, and I know he would do anything to get better. He wants recovery a lot. It's just sometimes at night he gets so down, which is completely understandable. I just miss doing everything with him and being able to talk on the phone and ice skating and things that I always took for granted :/ things I am sure you all have heard a million times. I think I am just looking for hope for him ( I am going to show him this internet community next time i see him!!) but also for me too.

    He said he read a poster that said that the life expectancy for young men who are around 21 when they get their injury is 41 years. This really scared him and I didn't know what to say except that we would take the best care that we could and that is because quadriplegics are way more succeptible to infections and things like that. I told him I wont let that happen....

    When I walk home from the hospital I get really upset, and when I dont see him for a day or so I get really upset too. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me and I wasn't even in the car accident. When I do get upset for some reason I end up thinking "He is still here" and I feel better for awhile. I just really hope someday modern medicine will find a cure for spinal cord injuries...


  3. #3
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Miracles do happen. And even if they don't life isn't over. There's a lot of people here that enjoy life and live it to the fullest. I was injured 17 months ago (C7) and have lived alone fully independent for over a year. In rehab I never thought this possible but life does go on. Never let SCI win.

  4. #4
    That's bs about the age of a quad dieing. Now is the time for him to heal and work hard. The cord is a complex thing, he still may get some return as it may be in shock still. I guess all we can do is maximize what we have left. It will get better, just takes hard work and time as Tooley says. Good luck

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jca View Post
    How likely do you think it will be that he will be able to use his hands again? Either due to a cure or his own body?
    I'm not a quad, but I have quad friends who are around that
    level and they're pretty independent. He really needs to work
    on maximizing the function he has left. I think it might still be
    too early to say whether he's complete or incomplete. He might
    regain a lot more function. Either way, it'll get easier.

    As far as a treatment, there are a lot of promising therapies
    being tested on people right now, but they're still too far away
    to count on them in the near future.

    From what I know about people with that level of injury, he
    should still be able to drive and manage his bodily functions.

    Nevermind the statistics. They don't keep up with technology.
    It was my experience that the doctors were wrong about those
    sorts of things 80% of the time.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Riaan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Alberton South Africa
    The more he try and do things with his hands the better he will get.I dont know how strong his grip in his hands is but there are ways of eating brushing his own teeth and hair using straps some kind of cups to drink as he is most probably drinking with a straw now?You must be strong in this time and try to keep him motivated.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Did your boyfriend receive the hypothermia treatment or methylprednisolone?
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Galloway, Ohio
    NEVER GIVE UP! Tell him to fight for everything! Keep being the cheerleader you have been. He needs your positive attitude and outlook. My daughter is a C6/C7 incomplete (injury was 2 years ago - she is now 21) and has great use of her hands - not full use - but still better than expected. Encourage him to take every opportunity for rehab he can get. The harder he tries and the more he puts into this, the better off his body will be.

    Many here will tell you not to think about what the posters say. I have never given up the hope that Sarah will still improve - even though we have been told that she will only regain within the first 2 years. I refuse to believe any of that stuff. The docs do not have a spinal cord injury - they do. I have great hope that my daughter will out live me and have a great life. With that being said....she just needs to maintain a good healthy life style and take care of her body. That is the most important.

    Visit here often. I find comfort here. It may sounds strange, but it gives me a connection that I dont have. Hopefully he will come here too. Sarah does only on occasion - I do look forward to the day when she visits more frequently.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jca View Post
    He said he read a poster that said that the life expectancy for young men who are around 21 when they get their injury is 41 years.
    This is not correct. See this link for the actual statistics. Keep in mind that this is an AVERAGE. Many people live much longer...and some shorter, often because they don't take good care of themselves.

    According to Model Systems data, a person with a C6 injury who is injured at age 20 is expected to live an average of 40.3 MORE years (ie, to age 60, not just to age 41), compared to an average of 52.7 (aged 72) if the same person does not have a SCI. I have many clients who have exceeded these numbers.

    I assume he is at Magee?? He needs to learn absolutely everything he can about how to keep himself healthy. This will maximize his quality of life, and also prepare him to be near the head of the line when the cure comes!


  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    He is such a new injury that there may well be some significant improvement in his outcome over time. I agree that working as hard as he can to figure out how to use his hands effectively is necessary. I am a very long term quad, and I can tell you with certainty that his life expectancy, assuming he takes care of himself, is nothing for him to worry about. I was injured at 17 and I am now 61 and doing just fine.

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