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Thread: New Spinal Cord Injury - 19 year old brother

  1. #11
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    Wow, thank you all so much for the support.

    Joe, I am in DC, but it's just me down here. My family is in Eastern PA, and my dad is actually from Orange, NJ, so he feels like he is at home spending so much time up near Kessler. I'd love to have Jamie closer to me, but the rest of the fam might argue with that. He is still close enough for his friends to visit him all the time, which I think has been extremely positive for him.

    The doctors and staff at Kessler have been much more positive about his possibilities than the trauma doctors during his initial hospital stay. There was lots of conflicting information being given -- one doctor said that his spinal cord was "dead" from the chest down and that he has a 99.9% chance of never walking again, while others told us that he has two contusions on his spinal cord and that while chances certainly are not likely, it is impossible to tell how he will heal. It was really difficult being in that type of environment, and I hate to think that he may be going back to a place like that with this transfer. We are not overly hopeful, and I know that it is emotionally dangerous to give families and patients false hope, but it really does seem like no one knows what his outcomes will be.

    Patton, you said that my brother sounds like a fighter, and he really is! He was quite an accomplished wrestler in high school and was working on gaining weight so that he could wrestle on his college team. He's a tiny little thing, and was so disappointed to inform me that all of the work he did to get up to 130 lbs has been lost as his most recent weigh-in has been at 110. Poor guy. When the doctor told him how long the recovery period would be, he said "you mean I am going to miss two wrestling seasons!?" so he is definitely staying hopeful despite the prognosis.

    Here is the newspaper article about his accident:

    http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/slat..._high_sch.html

  2. #12
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    A bruised spinal cord is better than a severed one. If that information in the article is correct, that's great news. All the best to your family, especially your baby brother

  3. #13
    Senior Member fromnwmont's Avatar
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    Nicole: sorry to hear about your brother I cannot suggest strongly enough to get him to a facility that specializes in SCI rehabilitation being from a very rural area I spent my time in a regular hospital a orthopedic surgeon looked at my CT via Internet many early clues were unheard/ unscene.. I second the advice on small steps I didn't believe the Dr 's who said at least a year before things settle so I pushed & pushed i became frustrated because I couldn't move this or that I ended up hurting myself more then helping at first not to sound morbid but I wish I could have a redo knowing what I learner the last year. Good luck there are many knowledgeable people here

  4. #14
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    I just spoke to my older brother who told me they believe it is a UTI. From what I understand, this is fairly common in catheter patients? Do you all think this might mean that his stay at the regular hospital will be brief and he will get back to Kessler soon?

  5. #15
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    Fromnwmont, he is technically at Kessler, which is supposed to be a very good sci rehab, but they transferred him to a regular hospital temporarily due to a spiking fever of which the doctors at Kessler are having a difficult time identifying the cause.

  6. #16
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    Hi Nicole,
    I know your brother, you and your family are going through a lot since your brother's injury but at least he's at a very good rehab facility. I was also at Kessler back when I was injured in 95...which was the same time Christopher Reeve was at Kessler after his injury. When I first got to Kessler, I was also on the vent and had setbacks like your brother. I and my family were really worried I'd never get off the vent...thankfully, the doctors and therapists at Kessler (especially Dr. Kirshbloom if he's still there) helped me slowly wean off the vent and eventually get rid of the traque.
    My injury was a little different than your brother's...mine was at c4/5 and was "incomplete", so I can't say how my injury compares to his. Still, your description of his arm movement and breathing trouble sounds similar to mine when I was at Kessler.

    Hang in there and take one day at a time.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleW0509 View Post
    Fromnwmont, he is technically at Kessler, which is supposed to be a very good sci rehab, but they transferred him to a regular hospital temporarily due to a spiking fever of which the doctors at Kessler are having a difficult time identifying the cause.

    Yes, UTIs are very common, especially in the beginning. He will improve quickly with antibiotics and they will get him back to rehab.

    Kessler is excellent. He is extremely lucky to be there. Just encourage him like crazy and know that recovery is a long process and he needs to work as hard as possible in rehab and over the next months/years to make the most of it. It is too soon for anyone to know - including the doctors - how much recovery he will have.

    One important thing.... it is very important to learn about how to check skin regularly to avoid developing pressure sores in areas where his sensation is no longer normal. Many people develop these and they can lead to terrible complications and delays in rehab. Make sure the nurses at rehab teach him how to check the vulnerable places, that he does pressure shifts regularly in the wheelchair (every 20 minutes!!) and at night the nurses/aids must turn him every 2 hours to start.

    Good luck to all of you, ask a ton of questions, and never give up hope. I don't believe in false hope.

  8. #18
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    Even though Jamie is back at the regular hospital for right now, there is some good news! He spent his first night completely off of the vent last night. He has been off of it during the day for over a week, but last night he slept without it for the first time since the night immediately following his accident.

  9. #19
    That is VERY good news!

  10. #20
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    He is going back to Kessler today!

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