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Thread: few more questions...sorry!

  1. #11
    Senior Member PB72181's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Yes it would be the insurance of the person who caused the accident that should be least that's how it worked with me. But they do put up a little bit of a fight, just like any other insurance company.

    Don't piss me off or I'll run over your toes.

  2. #12
    Sure you can visit her at rehab, and I hope you do! As far as taking her outside, I guess it will depend on how she feels. At first she will be dizzy when she tries to sit up, laying down w/ an sci gives you low blood pressure. We all went through this. Keep going, you're doing great...

    C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000

  3. #13
    I was wondering...will my friend ever be able to eat real food? Will she ever be able to talk without using the button thing we put on her neck to hear vibrations? If no one is with her how will she turn on the T.V.? Will she ever be able to work again? Is there anything she will be able to do?

  4. #14
    Tammy, I am glad to hear she is being evaluated by excellent center. I am assuming the "back up" plan is for Shepherd Center in Atlanta...also an excellent choice.

    I hope your friend is getting an attorney. Tell her NOT to sign or agree to any kind of insurance payout from the other driver's insurance without an attorney reviewing the settlement. I have seen many people gipped out of what they need by signing for a "big" settlement of $1-2 million, when they run through this kind of money in 1-2 years (for some) when ventilator dependent. She needs an attorney who will push the insurance company to pay NOW and also she probably will need to file a civil suit to get more than the car insurance medical coverage alone. Help her find a good personal injury attorney.

    Most (but not all) people with this type of injury eventually can eat regular food, and can talk even when they have a trach and are on a ventilator. Christopher Reeve again is a good example. At Craig they will transition her to a portable wheelchair ventilator, teach her how to use an uncuffed trach, and do swallow training and evaluation.

    For most people at her level of injury, an environmental control unit is ideal for use at home (or even in the hospital). An ECU will allow her to control all types of electronic equipment with voice, sip and puff, or microswitch control (such as a chin or tongue switch). Even the most basic ECU will control the hospital bed head up and down, turn on/off a TV and change channels, turn on/off a radio or fan, etc. Some have enough channels that you can lock/unlock the front door to let your PCA in, operate power drapes, run a computer, etc. etc. They are not cheap, and if her insurance balks at purchasing, an ECU is a perfect item to target for fund raising by her friends and family. If you are considering this, just be sure that the money is handled in such a way that it does not make her loose any benefits she is entitled to. One resource for this is here:

    She will be able to have visitors in rehab. Be sure that your visits do not interfere with her therapy schedule though. Check with the center about the best times to visit where you can accompany her to therapy, or where she will have free time. She should be allowed to go outdoors (most have patios, etc.) when the weather is fair, and will also be going on recreation outings with the therapeutic recreation staff. Find out if you can accompany her on these outings, but be sure to follow the therapists direction so you don't do too much for her...she needs to get out into the community and start to learn how to manage things like asking strangers for assistance, etc.

    There are many things she will be able to do, but probably little of them will involve taking care of herself. She will need to become an expert on how to maintain her health and how to direct others in her care. It is unlikely that she will be able to drive, at least not with current technology. She will be able to use a computer with voice recognition. She may be able to paint or draw if this interests her. People with her injury do work, esp. if they have the education to do a job like social worker, psychologist, teacher, attorney, computer specialist, etc. etc. I have a friend with a similar injury who has a double major from a prestigeous university (he was injured at 16 and is now 40) and he owns his own business making computer accessories. Options are limited only by imagination and effort for these types of jobs.

    Of course all of this assumes no further motor return, and it is too early to say yet.


  5. #15
    I was wondering how could I go about doing a fundraiser. Does anyone have any ideas? Also, I was reading an article and it said that usually injuries about a C3 have to use a ventilator for the rest of thier lives. Is that right? How many times a day does the trach have to be cleaned? Is that true that when they clean it out that the person cant breathe? It has now been 18 days since the accident and no movement. Does that mean my friend is complete? Does anyone know any statistics for C2 injuries?


  6. #16
    I can't help much with these questions, but in general, 18 days is far too soon to decide whether your friend's injury is complete. SCI's take a very long time for the swelling to subside. Unfortunately, it's all so dreadful that it seems even longer.

    I'll see if I can find stats for a c2 and vent use. Re fundraisers, probably her hometown would be the place to do it. A theme would depend on locale. For instance, I'm told the thing to do where I live is to auction autographed OU items, with players or coach present. Keep the questions coming, you're doing great.

    C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000

  7. #17
    Craig does not accept my friends insurance. Isnt there some other way she can still go there? Shouldn't the girl that hit her be paying for it? Is it possible that they just didn't want to accept her because of her condition?

  8. #18
    Tammy, the insurance company's refusal to pay for Craig can be (and should be) appealed. I would strongly suggest that her family obtain the free book available at this website, and contact Mr. Romano's office for some free advice on how to do this type of appeal.

    As I said before, your friend needs an attorney who will pursue the driver who hit her, and will deal with that person's insurance as well. The family needs to do this without delay.

    Craig specializes in injuries such as your friend's, so I seriously doubt that they turned her down. See if she can get into Shepherd (Atlanta) or Kessler (New Jersey) instead, but I would pursue the Craig option still.

    It is too early to say what will happen with your friend's injury. She should be evaluated at Craig for a phrenic pacer, which would eliminate (usually) the ventilator. Many people (including those on this site) live at home with a ventilator long term. Some need frequent suctioning, some never need to be suctioned. It is very individual. When suctioning is done, the person does not breathe, but it should only be for about 10 seconds. When using a ventilator, most people have in-line suction devices that mean the nurse or caregiver does not need to remove the ventilator to suction. While people do not usually use these at home, they are usually used in the hospital (they reduce the risk of infection too). At home, most people remove the ventilator and "bag" the person with an Ambu bag while suctioning, so the person is again not breathing when the bag is removed to allow the suction catheter to pass. This part of suctioning such not last more than 15 seconds maximum.


  9. #19
    Tammy, when my brother was injured, he also was refused admission at Shepperd center in Atlanta, but after appealing and working out finances he did go. The family will have to appeal and be tenacious.
    What a great friend you are, stay with her!

  10. #20
    Update: It has been three weeks now and my friend, Heather, is still in the hospital. They say that thier insurance said no to Craig, but they are going to still try to get her in. I am guessing that there have been people from different rehab centers coming to see her, but her insurance is being difficult. A guy from a rehab center here in Missouri is coming this week to see her. They don't want her to go there because they only do rehab or weaning of the vent--not both. The family is hoping that once they rule out all these places that the insurance will let them go to Craig. The doctors were going to see if she could breathe without the vent today, but Heather said she was scared. They are going to try again tomorrow. Why would she be scared? Is is possible that her diaphram could have started working again? Will they have to wean her if she can breathe on her own or what will they do? What happens if she can't breathe on her own. Her sister said they started to get her to they can understand her "s" and "d". I am guessing this is a whisper. How can she do this with a vent? Me and my boyfriend are coming up with many good ideas for a fundrasier for her, but we have to wait until we are home for christmas break. Has anyone put on a fundraiser that might have a few tips for me? Any advice would be really helpful!


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