Recovering from a Spinal Cord Injury is a Lifelong Process

by Ramonica R. Jones

Recovering from a spinal cord injury is a lifelong process. Patients like Christopher Reeve go through a full grieving period...followed by months, even years, of treatment and physical therapy. How quickly a patient recovers an injury often depends on the patient.

Occupational therapist Sandy Kraemer says, "If they have the personality and the willingness to better themselves and to see how far they can go, they'll do everything that's recommended; and through therapy, find that they can really be helped."

Each patient is different, but many spinal cord injuries lead to other health troubles, like pneumonia, infections and bed sores. A lot of patients eventually die from these problems. Christopher Reeve lived with his injury for nine years...the average patient in his condition would've been dead within a month.

Physical therapist Kathy Roodzant-Beck says, "It depends on the level that they have the injury at, but it also depends on their pre-morbid status; what they had medically wrong with them beforehand, and what they can go through after the spinal cord injury."