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Thread: Twin Brother, Ski injury SCI, Trauma, help?

  1. #1

    Twin Brother, Ski injury SCI, Trauma, help?

    First off, apologies for starting a new thread.
    Obviosly you guys are a lot more expereinced that I or my brother are at this whole injury/expereince.

    This is the first time, I've ever had someone so close been in an accident like this, so please forgive me if I come across naive or uninformed.

    I can only remotely understand what it is like to go though something like this, but I do know something, Life goes on regardless what happens, it is ingrained in all of us to try to learn and learn to try, its given us hope for years before and given us hope for years after.

    On tuesday last week (20th March) , my twin brother (26yrs old) was in a bad ski jump fall in Dubai Indoor Ski Centre - taken immediately to Nuero-spinal hosiptal (, 500 yards along road, with pressure & swelling to lower back.

    He sat about hospital without feeling in both legs for half hour (complete injury?!) before they decided to operate on him to relieve the pressure on spinal nerve, and check out whats going on.

    I think he fractured/crushed two lower Lumbar spinal vertabraes/discs and had them replaced with 4/8 pins with supporting braces, all internal.
    he has lost control of bladder etc and cant feel or move legs.
    He also fractured his coxic bone, and broke his thigh.

    his spinal cord/main nerve is still intact, so docters are optimistic.
    he has a wee bag to collect spinal fluid as its not phsiycally over surgery yet. (wonder when this sorts itself out, nerve will commuincate again?)

    2 days afterwards he had a wee tingle in his knee cap, but more postively the day after that, feeling returned to Both Upper Half of his thighs. From what Liam said, its returning `very slowly` but considering its only been 6 days, I think thats pretty damn fast.

    I have read that after 6 months improvements platue, but my question to you all is what do you think of the situation? what are your feelings?

    He is an mechcanical engineer, so is always impatient and wanting to fix things! He really needs timetables, mental paths, different takes on the problem/obsticle, progress potentiol, Shared Sxpereinces and the like.

    I wont bore you with the detals of how upset and down he is, I/we are always optimistic by nature, smiles galore no matter how rainy a day. I just wish it could've been me, as he can beat himself up sometimes about small things let alone embark on a something like this. he is my brother, best freind and like all you guys - a fighter. Look forward not back.

    If you want to get intouch, All my contact details can be found on my personal profile, on Skype- loujake, MSN messenger. and Email:
    in Scotland, so is remember it is GMT.

    If you could let me know your opinion, and if you know anyone who has been in a similar position, I would love to hear from them, and so would Liam. He really is a nice guy, and would talk to anyone about anything at all, I can guarentee he will forget what he is talking about and be more interested in you than him! (regardless of injury) and you'll prob learn something factual and unrelated too! :0)

    I'm open to any form of communication, I just want to help him out of his maze that hes in. He would love to hear from you.

    I'm really down :0( today, but after finding this website, your obvious community spirit has really cushioned / warmed up my research into his injuries, types, recovery rates etc. :0)

    I'd best be off, back to work today, keep my mind busy, but all I can think about is poor Liam in (an inclined) bed, worrying away!

    Thanks a lot you guys, I really appreciate it. If I could pop into your room for a chat and cup of tea right now I would.

    Jake X

  2. #2
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Chicago IL
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakeb22
    2 days afterwards he had a wee tingle in his knee cap, but more postively the day after that, feeling returned to Both Upper Half of his thighs. From what Liam said, its returning `very slowly` but considering its only been 6 days, I think thats pretty damn fast.

    I have read that after 6 months improvements platue, but my question to you all is what do you think of the situation? what are your feelings?
    Having such return in 6 days is a very good sign there may be more. My understanding is that around the one month mark things start to come back if they do come back. First week return such as this may have much more coming as time goes by. Good luck, and that Dubai ski center is an interesting place, I was watching something on television on how that place was built.

  3. #3
    Welcome to our forums. I moved your message to the New SCI forum.

    Are you residents of Dubai, or just visiting there? If not residents, will you be returning to your home for his rehab?

    Did he get high dose IV methylprednisilone immediately after the injury?

    What is the plan for his rehabilitation?

    It is way to early to tell how complete the injury is. Did they give you a level of neurologic injury and an ASIA score? If he is getting return now this is a good sign, but there is no way to speed this up, or to assure that more return occurs now. It can take up to 2 years for him to know how much return he will get.

    Until then, it is critical that he get top-notch SCI rehabilitation at a specialty center so that he can maximize his function and learn how to keep himself healthy. We can advise you on good centers if you know more about your situation.

    Please come back and post here often.


  4. #4
    Banned adi chicago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    near dracula castle
    good luck to your brother ,i have a twin brother as well.since my injury he is doing the best he can to see me ab again.
    all the best and never give up.
    • Dum spiro, spero.
      • Translation: "As long as I breathe, I hope."

  5. #5
    The spinal cord swells post-trauma. This is called spinal shock and it's hard to say how long it lasts, the medical experts don't agree. In my case I think it lasted 6 months. During that period I had a fairly rapid return, from the completely paralyzed below the armpit state I started out in. After that there was healing, I guess, because I had some return of function and sensation for about 2 years.

    I've noticed that the quicker such return starts, the more significant it tends to be in the long run. The fact that he has so much return so early strikes me as a good sign.

    Only time will tell. He needs to prepare for the worst, hope and work for the best. Have him watch carefully for pressure sores on his skin, that sets us back in rehab. He needs the best rehab he can possibly get.

    Good luck to you both.

  6. #6
    Senior Member patd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Boise, Idaho, USA
    Hi J,

    Ironically, as a C6-7, incomplete, modified quad 4 yrs post, I also have a twin brother and we are both mechanical engineers! I think that qualifies as someone who might understand a little about what you and your brother are going through.

    It's pretty normal to be down at a time like this, but I sense an attitude of optimism that just maybe the engineer coming out; that is, do the best with what you have. This might not feel like it helps right now, but it will down the road.

    Your brothers early return feelings are a great sign. Nobody can predict what will happen for sure, but my return didn't start till 13 mo. post. And I get more everyday day (4 yrs!!). I also workout very hard everyday and also get out and work/play.

    Hopefully your bro won't have to deal with half the things I did while in the hospital and he will get in the pool and MOVE as soon as the stitches heal. I've found it's so important to move what you can't! Find a way! I built a walking machine in my garage to do it and as an engineer, I bet he can too!

    Good luck and stay in touch with this forum, Pat

    ps Picture is Skiing with my Son last week in Sun Valley

  7. #7
    Just a little commercial here:

    The Bronx VA has a long-term on-going study of people with SCI who have an identical twin. You do not have to be a veteran, and they will pay for you and your twin's travel for an annual interview, exam and some tests. They are looking for differences in physiologic aging in people with SCI. If you are at all interested in this, you can contact the office of Dr. William Bauman at the Bronx VA SCI Center: 718.584.9000 x5428 to inquire about this.


  8. #8

    You and Liam should get to know the Carmel brothers: Jason and David. They are a bit older. David was injured perhaps 5-6 years ago (gosh, time really is flying...) in a diving accident in Mexico and did his rehabilitation at Mt. Sinai. He was right on the verge of entering Stanford B-school. Jason was at Columbia Medical School and he did his PhD with me. Both of them come to this web site. Wow, I didn't know that patd has an identical twin.

    I hope that your brother got a drug called methylprednisolone shortly after his injury. If so, this usually allowed recovery of 20% more recovery. From your description, it is not clear that he has had spinal ord injury. The spinal cord ends at L1. If he had damage to the two lower lumbar spinal vertebraes (L4 and L5), this suggests that he may have injury to the cauda equina or the spinal roots below the spinal cord.

    Recovery from cauda equina injury is different and not as predictable as spinal cord injury. In general, sensory improvement is a good sign that the areas where he has gotten some sensory return will likely show motor return as well. Do you know whether he has any sensation in his rectum and whether he has anal sphincter contraction? Can he feel fullness in his bladder. Both of those would also be hopeful signs.

    Rehabilitation will be very important. This will probably be the next decision that Liam will be making in the coming weeks. Please continue to ask questions. There are plenty of people with direct experience.


  9. #9

    hi again

    hi and thanks for all your replies, its so good to see you all chipping in! makes me feel better and more well informed and even better, more confident to deal with this.

    Medically, as far as I am aware the doctor hasnt diagnosed either incomplete or complete, as spine still in shock. It was only One week ago.
    The only thing he can feel beneath his waist is a several inches down (from waist), both legs. I dont think he has any control over bladder, bowel etc, which he is obviosuly bit embarrased about, but from what I gather these are always first to react to any spinal shock.

    Docter said he is optimistic, but that is all.
    he said would be hard to tell whats happening for another 3/4 weeks like you guys are suggesting (one month after injury).

    I spoke to him today, and he is petrified, but I told him life goes on and accidents happen, and people go on to enjoy entirly different more happier and prodcutive lives, plus soliders come home from war worse off than him, and he should be happy that he is still alive. obviosuly not what you want to say or hear, but I had to tell him, I dont want him to be in denial.

    hes really missing me, and i'm flying out in a few weeks time, slap bang in middle of starting a new job and night-class collage exams. Everyone is being really understanding, so is appreciated.

    He was holidaying in Dubai, to see my dad (Dad is in the Oil & Gas industry, based in dubai), I am from and live in Scotland, UK.

    Mum flew out from Norway (also in oil and gas) to be with him, but my parents are seprated, so just now hard to agree on best way forward forLiams rehab - besides asking Liam himself.

    Mum gets really worried (normal mum), brought us up alone for 21 years, (parents got divorced when me & Liam were 5) and is always looking ahead, wanting the best, and my dad is more pragmatic, optimistic confident all the time, but they dont speak much, and when it is, it is usually shouting. (mum gets rattled easily, and this makes (my normally calm) dad get wound up, but they definatly both agree his interest lies at heart.

    but its just such a shit position to be in. I cried my eyes out last night, luckily i have one of those girlfreinds who are really supportive and shares both my joy and pain.

    His girlfreind is with him as we speak, and she is really supportive the best she can, but she flies home in few weeks, so I told Liam, I'd fly out week or two after to give him a goal to work too.

    but my god, he is so down, scared and just plain alone if you know what I mean. He could have all the people in the world besides his bed, and I can feel he is still alone.

    but forever the optimiss, I like to think that one day all this will be behind us, and one way or another life will go on, with both of us enjoying each others companies more, and being best of freinds rather than competive brothers.

    Thanks for all your support and input guys & girls (hard to tell with just your screen names!!), please keep me uptodate with ideas, for all of you out there who have a twin, what would you recommend the best path I take to keep him happy?

    Thanks to you the mechcanical engineer who built your own bike, good storey! (didnt catch yourname as in text box now, so much on mind) I always smile, and can appreciate without haze, that liam will enjoy his life after this whichever it turns out, way more than he ever did.

    There are a lot more things which appeal to us than money and career! and im sure this will have refocused his efforts into enjoying life, rather than just living it.

    but again thanks. really makes me feel better you guys are out there.

  10. #10
    oh i think it was T11ish which are the vertabraes behind the rib cage.
    lower t section?!

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