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Thread: My 18 year old was just injured

  1. #1

    My 18 year old was just injured

    on Sept 21. He has a T-5 complete or maybe not...
    At times he says he is getting some sensation back in his legs and bottom, but he has no movement yet. He alternates between optimistic and depressed. He was riding his motorcycle when a transit bus hit him. We don't really know what to expect in the future. I read things that say that it is possible that he will walk, but then other articles that say that is all exagerrated. We are overwhelmed...
    He is three hours away in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle which is our regional acute trauma center and I typically visit him every day.
    Does anyone have any advise on what I can tell him.... regarding recovery, rehab, any encouragement I can give him

  2. #2

    Stay strong and work hard

    My 20 year old daughter had an accident May 23rd of 2006. She was told motor complete never to walk again. She has had a possitive outlook and always said when I walk again. She has been a miracle none the less. i cant explain why she is healing from a T12, L1-L3 burst fracture but she is. She is beating all odds. It does take lots and lots of time and hard work in therapy. I will post an article for you that was in Shriners letter this month about mindy. I would suggest that you contact Shriners Spinal Cord center in Philadelphia, pa for evaluation. They accept patients up to age 21. My daughter was 21 in Feb and she is still under there care for the remainder of this year. Yesterday she walked 1/2 mile in 15 minutes on a regular treadmill at home with only a brace on her left ankle.

    Godd Luck and never give up.
    August 17, 2007

    I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Shriners for what they have and are continuing to do for my daughter Mindy McCall.

    May 23rd, 2006 was a day that changed the course of my family’s life. I received the call that every parent hopes never to get. My 20 year old daughter, Mindy, had been in a motor vehicle rollover accident and was being transported to the area Medical Center. Mindy swerved to miss an oncoming car, flipping end to end and then side rolling several times, ending with her SUV on its roof and her trapped in the car.

    The EMS Tech called on the way to the hospital to tell me that Mindy was awake and talking but that she had numbness in her legs. After many scans, x-rays and tests, the emergency room physician came out and told us that Mindy had multiple fractures in her back and was paralyzed from the waist down. She would need surgery to remove bone fragments from her spinal column to try and repair the damage. Mindy was moved to ICU. May 25th, Mindy had a spinal fusion at the local Medical Center. Rods and Screws were placed in her back to fuse the vertebra together and bone was taken from her left hip to graft. She had neurological damage in the thoracic region (T12) and a burst fracture in the Lumbar region (L1-L3 vertebra were compacted). Mindy stayed at the local hospital for 10 days and was then moved to Atlanta to begin rehabilitation. Mindy stayed in Atlanta for 45 days. She worked very hard to get back what she could. The pain in her back was almost unbearable. Mindy continued to push herself in outpatient therapy at the local rehab center three days a week. She started getting feeling back in her right side. The doctors told us, and documented, that Mindy would be a motor complete paraplegic for life bound to a wheel chair.

    In September of 2006 Mindy’s social worker gave her an application to attend a clinic that was being held at Shriners Hospital in Greenville South Carolina by the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital, which specializes in Spinal cord injuries. The chief of staff, Dr. Randall Betz, and his associates would come in and evaluate Spinal Cord Injury patients and see if they could offer any assistance in their recovery. Mindy was so excited. We got there early and the Lobby was packed. Patients came from states as far as Alabama to attend this clinic. Dr. Betz came in to examine Mindy and he began reading her medical file. He showed his assistants that Mindy was marked motor complete but saw Mindy move her right leg. Dr. Betz asked Mindy how she thought going to Shriners in Philadelphia would benefit her. She told him that since her accident she was in constant back pain but had regained some movement in her right leg. She felt that if given a chance to continue therapy she could recover and possibly walk again. She exhausted all therapy available through her insurance carrier. Mindy lifted her right leg up and moved it forward to show Dr. Betz she had made some recovery. Dr. Betz asked his assistant to have Mindy in Philadelphia as soon as possible.

    Mindy and I flew to Philadelphia on October 17th for three weeks of therapy. Mindy arrived and began tests to find the source of her back pain. It was discovered that the previous spinal fusion did not fuse and the bone graft taken from her left hip had been absorbed and the screws were coming through the muscles in her back. Mindy was scheduled for a second Spinal Fusion December 4th 2006 at Shriners Philadelphia. We were not expecting Mindy to go through a second major surgery in six months. Mindy had the Spinal Fusion and within 4 days started working with a therapist in her room. Within 8 days she was in the gym walking with a brace on her left leg. Mindy came home a few days before Christmas. This was the best Christmas gift ever. Mindy now had a chance at recovery. We had gone to Shriners for three weeks and ended up there for almost three months.

    Thanks to the surgeons and therapist at Shriners, Mindy has made great progress. It has been hard work and she has been completely committed to the program. Mindy returned for the month of February 2007 and then again the month of August 2007 for therapy. Mindy has regained 100% in her right side and about 50% on her left. She now walks with one hand crutch and no brace, working toward her next goal of walking with only a cane.

    Mindy returned to College on August 20th pursuing a degree in counseling. Mindy wants to counsel Spinal Cord injury patients. She wants other children and teens to know that there is hope. The staff at Shriners Hospital in Philly is amazing. Mindy has never given up hope of walking again unassisted and has kept a wonderful outlook throughout her 16 months post injury.

    As a mother I will never be able to repay Shriners for what they have given back to my daughter and our family. I want to thank the Hejaz unit for sponsoring Mindy. This past year was devastating to us not only emotionally, but also financially. I don’t think Mindy would have been able to receive the type of treatment and care that Shriners will provide her until February 2008 when she will reach the age limit. Mindy is confidant that she will be walking fine by then. I hope that when Mindy receives her degree she can return to Shriners and talk with other patients. The staff says Mindy is an inspiration to other SCI patients. She has a gift of comfort and hope. Mindy has made some great new friends throughout the world who have come to Shriners Philly for treatment. I thank Shriners from the bottom of my heart. Every time I see a Shriner, I have to thank them for what they are doing and have done for my daughter. I pray a blessing on each and everyone who is a part of this organization. May God richly bless every Shriner.

    I encourage you; if you see a Shriner taking donations, selling candy or tickets to an event, please make a donation. I pray that no one ever has to face what we have in the past year, but if you do, Shriners is there for children and teens.

    Anyone wishing to follow Mindy’s progress can do so at Register as new user. Mindy’s patient ID is MINDYAMCCALL (no spaces-type as one word).

    Many prayers and thanks to Shriners Hospitals

    Cindy Davis and family

  3. #3
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    Welcom, Kim. Glad you found us, sorry you had to.
    It is way too soon to tell if he will walk again or not. If he thinks he's getting some sensation back, maybe he is and GREAT!!!! It will be a long road if he is. Truthfully, it is unlikely that he will fully, 100%, just like he was before, never knew it happened, recover. But he may recover to the point he can lead a fairly normal life, you really never know. "they" say there is a 2 year window, but there people everywhere that can blow that theory out of the water.

    What he does have to do is learn how to deal with his new body the way it is right now. He can't go home until he learns how live with his new self. That means bowel care, bladder care, skin care, transfers, wheelchair basics, some balance control, dressing, etc. If he doesn't use it later, wonderful. But for now, that's the way it is, learn it and move on. Most basic rehab will teach this, rather than moving towards "recovery", unless there is some real progress in the early weeks. If he shows improvement later, there are other programs to check into.

    Tell him to keep in touch with his friends, they may be "afraid" of him and he may have to make some real efforts at keeping them close to him. Afraid they will hurt him, afraid he's too fragile, afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing.
    Has he had a recent Asia test? That will determine complete vs incomplete. If he thinks are changing, he should have this done to see.

    Take a look around the other forums, there's a wealth of information that you won't get from the doctors or rehab center. Ask anything (you'll see, nothing is tabboo here. Just find the right forum). Encourage him to get on line, as well.

    Hang in there and my thoughts are with you.

  4. #4
    Welcome to our forum. Your son is at a very good SCI Center. The staff there should be able to help him and all of the family with these issues. Have you had any team meetings with them? Now is the time to learn as much as you and he possibly can about him injury. Ask questions and learn as much as you can from the SCI center staff.

    You must be staying in Seattle...Port Angeles is a long way from there to visit daily!

    Please keep in touch and ask any questions. We are here for you.


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