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How You Became Spinal Cord Injured




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191 replies to this topic

#1 shynook11

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 10:19 PM

I was wondering if you would be willing to share your story about how you ( or you family member) became injured / paralyzed? I am in awe of all of the courage and honesty I read on these boards.

 

Broken_back.jpg



#2 Snakeye

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 10:38 PM

I was done in by falling off the roof of my home...

Edited by Snakeye, 23 October 2010 - 12:06 AM.


#3 dron

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:12 AM

I became paralyzed at the age of 17 playing hockey. I fell headfirst into the boards with 20 seconds left in the game. It's been 26 years and counting.

#4 Jess67

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:00 AM

Logging, deadfall from behind. 20 yrs ago and still seems like yesterday. And Dron, thats a sad way to get it. My whole life was hockey. Just street, league, and rental. That is my biggest thing I miss.

#5 1positivethinker

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:17 AM

High speed MVA (motor vehicle accident) when a semi collided with our school bus and we rolled multiple times into a field, I was only 6 years old.


Hello, my name is Christie, and I love my friends!
When life gets you down, grab a cloud and examine the silver lining. --Me

#6 photogal

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:44 AM

I'm 17 and have Transverse Myelitis at T4/5/6. I am partially paralyzed although I know it could be much worse. That TM started back in April and I have been getting progressively worse since.

#7 JimG

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 02:51 AM

Snow skiing.


I was racing my (then) 15 y/o son and a group of little kids from a ski school came out of the trees right in front of us, so I immediately took to the side to keep from running them over.

Unfortunately....it wasn't groomed on the sides of the run and I crashed.

Walked around with a broken L5 for 18 months and the herniated disc at T6 for 30 months before getting them fixed.
Adversity doesn't build character.....it reveals it.

#8 Oldsparkie

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 04:31 AM

Fell eight feet from a ladder and landed on my toolbox, ten years ago. At least I haven't had to climb a dam ladder since.

#9 The Black Sheep

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 04:33 AM

I'm a Transverse Myelitis diagnosis. I fell asleep when I had mono, and the virus got into my spinal cord and swelling strangled the nerves. We believe I may have herniated the T5 disc a few days before I was paralyzed, when I fell gently off a trampoline, giving an opening for the problem to start. I was 13 then, and I'm 25 now. I'm only partially paralyzed and have normal sensation, minus temperature or pain, but very little movement beyond wiggling my toes, ankles and a little bit of pull in my hips and knees.

Edited by The Black Sheep, 23 October 2010 - 04:34 AM.

3 doctors diagnosed me with hysterical paralysis (weee!), 1 diagnosed an incomplete T7, another T2 and the last (and most accurate) T5. Trampolines are BAD. Sleep is unpredictable. And never kiss strangers. Life has moved on.

#10 dingle

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 07:24 AM

:nopity:
In September 1965 I was hit by a Black London Taxi which came through a traffic light at red on a Saturday morning at 1,30 am in London and I still don't what I was doing there.

#11 airart1

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 09:17 AM

i think there are a couple big long threads with this, i've answered one or two, i guess it doesnt matter, but alot more posts of alot of the forum regulars, i fell asleep while driving, overworked, nothing spectacular, layed in field for 6-7 hours till i was found.............

#12 Edinburgh Colin

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 09:54 AM

Low speed motorcycle accident, strong gust of wind, I was only doing 25mph and was blown towards an embankment, so I jumped off as you do rather than rolling down a hill with a big lump of hot metal. When I stopped bouncing and rolling it hurt a lot. But I managed to get back up the hill and get on the bike and ride home. Put the bike in the garage and walked into the house and sat in the lounge feeling stupid and in pain, last walk I did.
Fracture of T2, internal bleeding 7 vertebrae laminectomy 34 hours later and then months of hospital.

Should have been going faster!!!
Impossible only describes a problem that needs viewed from a different perspective

#13 davjed

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 03:43 PM

Friend said I was too drunk to drive so he took my keys to drive himself. He lost it on a curve and I wound up in a ditch with a car on top of me. He wasn't injured of course......
"DON'T TREAD ON ME"

#14 DannyR

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 06:01 PM

Not absolutely sure. Mine was a dengerative condition where I had 2 herenated discs putting pressure on the spinal cord. I was run over by a car when I was a kid,drunk driver on the sidewalk, and 40 years later I got a stiff neck that wouldn't go away.Doctors think this must be the cause because of the type of injury. First I lost the use of my hands then I couldn't walk. It was about 6 weeks from the time I got the stiff neck to surgery, but when things started going real bad it was only a few weeks. Last day I worked was January 19,2009 my surgery was February 10,2009. I got the stiff neck right after Christmas 2008.
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#15 sh1wn

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 07:02 PM

I was drunk and thought it would be a good idea to walk on the railing of a bridge, not my brightest idea. I was 23 and I fell around 30 feet and landed right on my head. I was awake for a few minutes after I hit and I knew I was f*@ked. After that I don't know what happened for about a month and woke up a quad, happened spring of 2007.

#16 julibugs

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 09:09 PM

This is how I introduced myself to the forum in May -

since I wrote it I spent 12 weeks in hospital after another emergency admission to hospital - My Cauda Equina not quite finished with me, I have lost some of the limited function I had and suffered damage to the nerves suppling my kidneys, it was good to write it all down then and good to revisit it today. I am moving on, I still think about suicide but I have a lot to be thankful for: this forum and all the brave people who visit it, my family which has now grown with the arrival in Sep of another granddaughter in New Zealand and especially today because for the first time I have looked after my third granddaughter and she is staying the night. Today has been a very good day.

Hello

Three years ago I was fit, active and in full time employment, life was being very good to me.

I am married, not for the first time - our combined family has 9 children with 6 still living at home, we have a partly renovated house and three beautiful grand daughters who light up our lives.

My first spinal injury resulted from a surfing accident just about three years ago - I was struck in the back of the neck by a surfer who was surfing in the bathing area. Apart from some spectacular bruising I felt fine after the accident, checked over by a doctor friend who was on holiday with us and just felt a bit stiff and uncomfortable. A few days later I began to get tingling in my R hand - over a period of about two weeks it spread to my whole arm along with terrible pain. It took six weeks for me to be seen at the spinal unit - a scan confirmed that I had a disc pressing on my spinal cord. For reasons I'm still not sure about no operation was offered and I learnt to live with the pain - which has been constant and debilitating. When it got to the point where I could only work and sleep with no energy for my family I gave up work.
This changed my life - and our family finances. I have always been an optimist, my new life gave me precious time with my eldest grand daughter and time to go and visit my daughter and grand daughter number two, in New Zealand just weeks after she was born. At home I spent a lot of time with my dying father iin law - I had a new routine, every day I went to the nursing home and gave Dad his breakfast, read the paper to him and my reward was to see the occasional smile and the infrequent but amazing moments of pure clarity from this lovely man who was being stolen by dimentia.

One day in September last year I hurt my back - doing nothing in particular, the pain was severe and broke through the armoury of medication I was taking for my arm/shoulder pain, my legs went numb, I had a loss of sensation in my saddle area. I rested, phoned the GP and was diagnosed muscle strain and given diazipam over the phone. Days pass in a fog of pain and pins and needles. Eventually a GP comes to the house, I am examined "have you had any incontinence" "no I have the opposite - no urge to empty bladder/bowels, I have to strain to pass urine" , GP sticks pins in me that I don't feel. I need an urgent MRI - a phone call will be made to spinal unit. I am afraid - instinct tells me something bad is happening. No word comes from GP or hospital - I am told an appointment will be sent in the post. It can't be that bad then, can it.
I struggle on I miss days with my father in law - too much pain to move. The consultant asks questions, no examination - "no I have not been incontinent, I have the oppisite blah blah" You will be sent an appointment for an MRI More weeks pass ..................................

The MRI technician is concerned - I am struggling to walk now, I have developed a shuffle, my good arm uses a crutch to support me - my feet hurt so much, I can't lift them up, I have had UTI's that have put me into a high fever, there is pus and blood in the urine that I struggle to pass. I have to wait for another appointment with the consultant. I go to my GP my bowels have stopped working - you are constipated its the pain killers, have laxatives. This becomes my dirty secret, the smearing, the knickers changed several times a day, and the strong perfume to cover up the smell of my rotting bowels.

My father in law has a chest infection - he has stopped smiling, it's time for him to go. For there own reasons the rest of the family won't/can't visit him, so I sit and talk to him. Christmas will be different this year, no cards are sent, the kids make mince pies and decorate a tree and I sit some more. I go back to see the consultant - the questions are repeated "no I'm not incontinent" "you need an urgent operation we will write to you". When the letter comes my husband cries - he will get his wife back at the end of January. On the 18th Dec my father in law is grey - he is going today maybe tomorrow. Family come, my new grand daughter lies asleep in his dying arms - the only cuddle they will ever have. Night falls and the family go away - I lie next to him and comfort him, my husband comes and we wait. In the early hours of the morning he slips away, his suffering ended at last.

Christmas is quiet and I am glad, I do the basics and I cry in pain - and the new year comes and we have a funeral to go to - I shuffle to the grave side and nobody thanks me for all the hand holding, sitting, breakfasts and talking I did. I don't mind it's what I do. My new career is caring for people.

Two days after the funeral - The pain reaches a new level - I stay in bed, the next day I sleep and get up in the evening to make dinner for my family the pain is like hot knives and I can't eat now it takes too much effort. I pass out, I vomit violently and wet myself. At last I can phone the hospital they will operate and take my pain away.

We arrive in the spinal unit after midnight - the registrar who examins me is concerned, he will phone the on call consultant. He comes back and says they need to do an MRI before they can operate, I cry out how long will it take, I think more days of this will be too much. I know I am really in trouble when he says there will be no wait - the radiographer is on his way now. A kind consultant waits for me when i come out of the MRI scanner - we are taking you to theatre now, we will do our best to save the nerves to your bladder - but it's not looking good.

The operation takes six hours - they untangle the delicate nerves from the disk material that is everywhere, I wake up and the pain is gone, I am so grateful. The physiotherapist comes and examines me, they let me rest. The consultant comes and tells me the damage is extensive and I may not make a full recovery - I don't understand.

They physio comes back - and brings an orthotist with her, they explain how they are going to fit splints to my paralysied feet, she asks how long have they been like this. I don't know - I remember the shuffle, how could I not notice that I couldn't lift them or move my toes.

The catheter comes out and I am encouraged to go to the toilet - they scan my bladder after I pee, there is 1.6L of retained urine - they put the catheter back.

The day I am due to go home - I have been shown how to self catheterise, I have splints that help me walk and a wheelchair is on order, there is equipment waiting at home. I can walk a little bit with my one crutch. A consultant is on ward round - she knows me well, she has been caring for my daughter for six years - she has scoliosis and hypermobility. She takes my notes and reads them - she is angry and tells me that I am her patient now, she holds my hands and asks me if anyone has told me I have CAUDA EQUINA SYNDROME, i say no and she tells me I must take advise about my case. I don't understand.

Back at home I use my lap top to look up CES and slowly it dawns on me that this is what I have and it should have been obvious to my GP and the consultant months ago.

I have had a long and difficult recovery - I am exhausted, I wake up and feel stiff and in pain all over my body, I am still suffering from frequent UTI's, night times are a blur of pain and stiffness, my husband has to carefully reposition me, empty my bladder and give me more pain relief.

I now have a diagnosis - Cauda Equina Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Kidney reflux, an antibiotic resistant infection in my bladder and an Auto Immune Problem which is yet to be given a name.

I am living a life that is not mine yet - I am a prisoner in my bedroom a lot of the time, I have got used to the catheters and am very grateful for the wonderful anal irrigation system. Next week I will see a rehab specialist. I have had NU DRIVE fitted for my wheelchair which makes it possible for me to propel myself with my very weak right arm. I often think about suicide and then feel guilty, I think of my children and my grand daughters and then I cry.

Thank you for reading my story.

Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

#17 Parachute

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 10:46 PM

I was injured tackling someone while playing rugby.


Parachute

#18 Wheelsonfire

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:02 PM

It was six years ago, I was contacted by the CIA to infiltrate Al Qaeda.

I was given the option to bring in my own team.
I searched long and hard and tracked down the team who were on a sabbatical.

I located Vernon Pinkley in the Kremlin training to be a waiter.
Archer Maggot was trying on wigs in Milan.
Joseph Wladislaw had some kind of a death wish while painting his nails on the top of a mountain while chanting Gregorian tunes(I wonder what calendar they used).
Major Max Armbruster was found three clicks north of a Tai whorehouse suffering from the clap.

Ah I won't go too much into the team but there were a dozen of us and we were a dirty bunch.

June 10 th 1994, at the dead of night we were flown to our drop off point, as we neared the Hindu Kush mountain range, each readied themselves for the most important mission to date, opening our sandwiches to make sure Col. Everett Dasher Breed didn't put pickles in between the tomatoes.

Our objective was to stop the "war on terror" and capture the most wanted man ever, no not Bob Hope, but the most evil, despicable human bean to ever grow a beard, Osama, yes, I do indeed mean Osama Bed Linen.

Sandwiches discarded due to the pickles ruining them.

We each took our turn in leaving the plane, as we descended, we were spotted by 4 Iranian hookers who were out looking for business.

We serviced each one to the best of our abilities and off we went to capture that evil and make sure he answered for each dirty deed carried out under his orders.

We crossed the Hindu Kush mountains until we detoured to the Central Highlands where our guide was to meet us, she was a tiny little thing she was, but swallowthecreamofsomeyoungguy knew all the secrets that mountain range had to offer.

Our time was short, we knew we had to get in and get out as soon as possible with this vile creature intact for trial.
We rushed through terrain unimaginable, it was for the red white and blue so it mattered not, we were invincible and nothing would stop us.

That is when it happened, my injury.
I was on night watch, patrolling the area, vigilant I was and nothing would remove me from the task at hand, well that was until I seen her, oh man she was the most beautiful image I ever did see, hair flowing down her back, she had the most beautiful eyes, they shone like the stars, they were the eyes of Venus herself.

She had her kid with her but we soon got rid of him.
I took hold of her in my manly arms, picked her up and brought her to a spot at the edge of the cliff and had my way with her, pleasured over and over again, I never felt such love.

And then, it happened, she lifted her hind legs, kicked out in a fashion like all goats do and off the cliff I went, tumbling to the bottom of the cliff breaking my back at T8 level.
My days of action in the field were over.

Signed

Major John Reisman aka WOF



 

 

 

 

 




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#19 charmed1199

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:18 PM

It started out as slipped disc in 1999 and I had to take a month off from work,then in 2004 I had L-5/6 injury but went thru therapy and recovered slowly. Then Sept'09 had C-4/5 injury. It was a degenerative condition and I am thinking low vitamin D levels.

#20 Trinity

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:27 PM

A sudden gust of gravity :rolleyes:
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Memento Vivere
Memento Mori


#21 Soryfam

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 09:09 PM

November, 2007. I contracted MRSA in my spine. It had eaten away T7 & T8 by the time the doctors realized how bad it was. Went to the hospital in an ambulance, had surgery same day, was paralyzed from the waist down for a couple of months, and now some sensation in the legs and can walk with a cane. Have had to have the bottom of my spine fused also. I figure someday they'll just connect it all together in one big fusion.

Sandy
Sandy

#22 mellowgator

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:35 PM

wof,

i perfer this version:


Mine is self explanatory but I'll voice for clarity;

I hit the chair in '92, that's 1992 by the way.
I always wanted to be a fireman, I look really good in the outfit!!
So I decided I would not leave my disability stand in my way as I focus on ability rather than shit I can't do.

So I took the government to court on grounds of discrimination, after all, I could have been the man on the ground or so to speak.

I like to think I could have given a different PERSPECTIVE to those who had the odd third degree burn here and there.
Fair enough, I could only do house calls to single story houses but that doesn't matter as I have a BIG hose to reach any HOT spots that needed quenching.

My best mate named Seán is a better McKenzie friend than I said he would represent me, so we set wheels in motion to motion.
We kicked their asses, well, he did, I can't move mine.
Legislation was set, Disability Act reformed and I had my chance.

I was given my boots, hat etc on the day of test, I wore no top as I like my bare chest on show, there was one fellow named Jason who really took a shine to me that day and helped me into my outfit, very nice fellow, he even gave me his number and advised I could call him anytime day or night.

We entered the building, then they set it alight, I barely made it out alive, it was lucky that I got out with only my wheelsonfire.
hi fellow gimps! i'm a c 6/7 quad and have been injured since 1986. i was in a roll over hydroplane accident and it took hours for the paramedics to get me out of the car in the pouring rain. that definately wasn't my day. but alas life goes on!

#23 Wheelsonfire

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:37 PM

Ah mellow, that is how I got my alais, the above is how I entered the chair but me head injury due to the fall got me dates mixed up

:head_brick_wall-1:
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#24 mellowgator

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:45 PM

Ah mellow, that is how I got my alais, the above is how I entered the chair but me head injury due to the fall got me dates mixed up

:head_brick_wall-1:


i like this version of your injury best:


Hi Drew

Welcome to the forum.

I'm me.

It was 18 years ago but I remember like it was yesterday.

I was dressed in the finest garments, and had the prettiest shoes, 4 inch heels they were with a heart shaped buckle with loadsa fake diamonds.

I had my basket in one hand and my magic wand in the other, I had to have the wand in my hand you see because my dress was without pocket.

Pockets would have ruined the sequenced detail of embroidery.

So then, all of a sudden, I seen it.

Oh you would have been amazed Drew.

It was the biggest and bestest blackberry I had ever seen.

Clusters and clusters of juicy bits.

I knew it was out of reach, even with my wand it was just too far.

But this did not stop me.

I tried and I tried.

But to no avail.

I thought to myself as I brushed my golden locks from my beautiful face.

Mary(I since changed it to WOF)you have to do your bestest to retrieve that yummy berry.

So then it happened.

I lifted my dress.

I reached beyond my capability.

And back I went.

There I was.

My legs unshaven, high up in the air.(unlike tyvin, I was commando)

Sprawled head first into a red berry bush.

Blackberries crushed beneath my lovely dress.
A dress I have never worn since, yet it finds place in me heart.

I have never felt the same since…..

There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
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hi fellow gimps! i'm a c 6/7 quad and have been injured since 1986. i was in a roll over hydroplane accident and it took hours for the paramedics to get me out of the car in the pouring rain. that definately wasn't my day. but alas life goes on!

#25 Wheelsonfire

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:53 PM

Ah mellow, doc’s said later that was just an hallucination during electrotherapy, we gots me meds sorted now so my mind is much healthier….


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#26 Tetracyclone

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 12:28 AM

There I was, God's little water balloon, half full and a nice shiny pink.

God has the mind of a child so He thought it great fun to toss the balloon against that unsuspecting and very clean car. God has a good arm- the balloon was moving at a good clip.

Poor car. It needed major surgery.

#27 wheelinmom

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 12:52 AM

mva, 04-22-04, missed a curve, went down a ravine hit a big cement thingy, car flipped end over end 5x, i was ejected out the back window, and flew bout 100ft before landing, i wasnt wearing my seatbelt but it actually saved me from severe brain damage, laid in a cow pasture for bout 20min, someone happened to see me miss the curve...my hero, i broke t-11 and t-12, crimped my cord, broke all ribs on both sides with severe damage to my lungs, broke r scapula, collar bone, minor cuts and bruises and a bald spot on the back of my head...lol we never figured that one out, chopper landed beside me in the field, said i was breathing 2% on my own (thats what i was told but idk how true that is) was known as barbara doe for the first few days, had a stroke on my third day, developed pnumonia, blah blah blah, 6 weeks later i woke up and didnt know anything or remember the wreck, no one actually told me i was paralyzed, my pt came in and put the shell on me and sit me up for the first time, thru her conversation i realized what my situation was...krazi. rehab was a trip, and my introduction to discrimination, i was dazed and confused,(i wasnt sent home with a wheelchair like everyone else and they tried to lie about it)thats another story, well since then i been tryna figure this life out...........tmi, sry :}
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#28 Stickman

Stickman

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  • Country:North Florida, USA
  • Spinal Injury Level:Spinal cord tumor T8-T10
  • Injury Date:25-08-2006

Posted 03 November 2010 - 04:56 AM

Spinal cord tumor (Ependymoma) @ T8-T10

#29 t-diddy

t-diddy

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  • Spinal Injury Level:T-10 Incomplete

Posted 03 November 2010 - 07:30 AM

Surfing,,,Was in the barrel hit a little chop sent me over the falls. Shallow sandbar landed on my feet solid, back sore only, drove home, travelling in the ambulance lost the use of my legs. T-10 incomplete

#30 Conflicted Heart

Conflicted Heart

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  • Gender:Female
  • Country:Buffalo, NY
  • Spinal Injury Level:GF to C4 quad

Posted 03 November 2010 - 03:54 PM

Six months ago, my boyfriend was an innocent bystander in a bizarre shootout with four police officers, who recklessly emptied their guns and shot him in the back of his neck, destroying his C4 vertebrae and leaving bullet fragments in his spinal cord. He has no movement below his shoulders. He is still hospitalized and breathes with the assistance of a ventilator. We are still in shock and devastated by what has happened and have many questions regarding what to expect if he even manages to survive his hospital stay.

:(


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