I'm about six months out from a T3-T7, ASIA A, conplete injury. I was an amateur, competitive cyclist on a typical evening training ride when a reckless driver tried to beat a yellow light and nearly killed me. In spite of it still being daylight out and in spite of three flashing lights on my bicycle this driver didn't see me. In her words in the police report, she couldn't see because the setting sun was in her eyes. So, thus blinded, she accelerated and then cut a left turn so shallow that she hit me as I was existing the intersection in the opposite direction nearly head on. My upper body went through her windshield and my lower body went over the roof. My T7 was shattered and my cord suffered a severe contusion at T7. My injury was categorized as T3-T7 because I have numb patches on my upper back up to the T3 dermatome. Otherwise I'm present as just a T7.
I spent a week in ICU post-op then was moved to a rehab hospital where I stayed for four weeks. I wore a TLSO brace any time I was more that 30 degrees from horizontal for the first three months but did manage to get home about five weeks after the accident. I did PT and OT in the rehab hospital and then at home until the end of the first three months. At that time I transitioned to outpatient PT where I have managed to recover some minimal motor control in my hip flexors, glutes and, to a much lesser degree, my hamstrings and glutes.
The extent of recovery today is being able to make some movement on a powder board and taking a few small, assisted steps on parallel bars with the PT blocking my knees, etc.
The toughest part has been professional. I was an executive managing four company sites, but the parent company refused to allow me to return to work. They even stated that I could not be a leader from a wheelchair. I had considered my colleagues at the parent company to be friends but they utterly abandoned me over my disability. So now we're engaged in a dreadful litigation dance.
At home my wife is my caregiver and she's been amazing.
I struggle with pretty severe paresthesia and substantial spasticity. On top of that I have pretty significant pain from the 5-vertebrae fusion.
My other current struggle is isolation of sorts. I used to spend many hours (~10 hrs/week) cycling with teammates and, of course, work days with colleagues. Today I work on getting better and trying to figure out my next career move before we blow through savings.