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Paraplegic Life Span?




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36 replies to this topic

#1 melash

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 02:03 AM

Does anybody have any suggestions to this subject?When my husband first got into his accident one of the doctors told me his life span would be from 4-7years.I never once thought about it till a wound care nurse asked me if I ever talked to my kids about what would happen if their dad passed away!After all their life span is usually 5-7 years.At the time all I could think about was Christopher Reeves!He was alive for a long time and he was in way worse shape due to his accident.At the time my husband had a pressure ulcer that wouldn't heal.Since then he has had surgery to fix it!But this is always on my mind!!I don't want to or know how to talk to our kids about this.Is it something I should worry about.Or does anybody else feel like in's kinda like getting hit by a bus!!Could happen anyday for no reason at all.Anybody with the same injuries who has 20+years in a wheelchair.Please just stop by and tell me it is possible to live a LONG life.Just so I can set my mind at ease.

#2 kewlcatkez

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 02:14 AM

Does anybody have any suggestions to this subject?When my husband first got into his accident one of the doctors told me his life span would be from 4-7years.I never once thought about it till a wound care nurse asked me if I ever talked to my kids about what would happen if their dad passed away!After all their life span is usually 5-7 years.At the time all I could think about was Christopher Reeves!He was alive for a long time and he was in way worse shape due to his accident.At the time my husband had a pressure ulcer that wouldn't heal.Since then he has had surgery to fix it!But this is always on my mind!!I don't want to or know how to talk to our kids about this.Is it something I should worry about.Or does anybody else feel like in's kinda like getting hit by a bus!!Could happen anyday for no reason at all.Anybody with the same injuries who has 20+years in a wheelchair.Please just stop by and tell me it is possible to live a LONG life.Just so I can set my mind at ease.



hello,


Quite frankly, I am not sure how long your hubby has been injured, but at his lesion level and without any significant other diseases or 'conditions' I can safely say that the dr was misinformed at best and down right idiotic...

check this out:http://www.apparelyzed.com/forums/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=280

It is, in this day and age, possible to live a long life. Lifestyle, familial history, cholesterol, activity, wound care of any wounds etc etc are all factors to consider in order to 'statistically' satosfy...and life in terms of the stats..

As for the life expectancy, please see this thread http://www.apparelyz...amp;#entry13963 it is one of the ones here at Apparelyed and has actual stats of expectancy at age og injury and level of lesion.

for example at his lesion, if he was injured at 40 years, the expectancy of that age group injured at his level would be 66.3 years...

and remember its all stats...

I hope this helps,

Take care,

K
Ex Nurse (med retired)
Connective tissue disorder & associated paralysis.

#3 Illinois Boy

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 02:14 AM

I've been a Quad since 1982, smoke, drink some - don't plan on dieing for a long time..... Or till the Cubs win the World Series....

Jim


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#4 Joed

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 02:43 PM

I've been a Quad since 1982, smoke, drink some - don't plan on dieing for a long time..... Or till the Cubs win the World Series....

Jim


:mfromg:


Aw, man! Does this mean I have to stop rooting for my Cubbies?! :( :ph34r:

melash....

I have spina-bifida, so my response to your question may not be so relevant to someone with a traditional SCI.

When I was young, my Dad couldn't get life insurance for me because at that time (1960's) it was considered to be a life-shortening condition. Today, however, my life expectancy is considered to be equal to anyone else's. I guess the change in thinking had to do with advanced medical treatments as well as a better available knowledge base for the insurance companies about this condition.

There's no doubt that those of us with SCI will have a higher potential for serious complications, but with a focus on good diet, skin care, range of motion, etc., I think we can all expect to still be raising hell in one form or another for a good many years to come. I'll soon be fifty y/o with an eight y/o son....and I plan on living long enough to embarrass my grandchildren someday. :D
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#5 knight

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:44 PM

Does anybody have any suggestions to this subject?When my husband first got into his accident one of the doctors told me his life span would be from 4-7years.I never once thought about it till a wound care nurse asked me if I ever talked to my kids about what would happen if their dad passed away!After all their life span is usually 5-7 years.At the time all I could think about was Christopher Reeves!He was alive for a long time and he was in way worse shape due to his accident.At the time my husband had a pressure ulcer that wouldn't heal.Since then he has had surgery to fix it!But this is always on my mind!!I don't want to or know how to talk to our kids about this.Is it something I should worry about.Or does anybody else feel like in's kinda like getting hit by a bus!!Could happen anyday for no reason at all.Anybody with the same injuries who has 20+years in a wheelchair.Please just stop by and tell me it is possible to live a LONG life.Just so I can set my mind at ease.

I been my chair almost 20 years coming up in June and got my first ulcer couple of months. If he takes good care of himself he be around for along time :wheelchair: . The wound care nurse doesn't know anything about how long a person that is disable will live. :mfromg: So take any doctors or nurse info with a grand of salt :drunk:

Edited by knight, 19 February 2008 - 11:45 PM.


#6 forthelove

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 07:00 PM

my hubby's 17 years out and healthy as a horse - just in a chair. He plans on being around a long time. He takes really good care of himself and stays on top of everything going on with his body. Early on, he had two surgeries on his butt to adjust things (bony butt). If he starts getting a red spot - he adjusts the air in his cushion - knows exactly what bandages help him heal, gets in the hot tub, etc. Drinks water all the time, and gets bladder infections treated early, so they don't go to his kidneys.

incidentally - investing in a hot tub is a great idea - it's great for circulation, which has helped speed healing for my husband's pressure wounds.
Succes is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.

#7 hendrix

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 05:59 AM

Does anybody have any suggestions to this subject?When my husband first got into his accident one of the doctors told me his life span would be from 4-7years.I never once thought about it till a wound care nurse asked me if I ever talked to my kids about what would happen if their dad passed away!After all their life span is usually 5-7 years.At the time all I could think about was Christopher Reeves!He was alive for a long time and he was in way worse shape due to his accident.At the time my husband had a pressure ulcer that wouldn't heal.Since then he has had surgery to fix it!But this is always on my mind!!I don't want to or know how to talk to our kids about this.Is it something I should worry about.Or does anybody else feel like in's kinda like getting hit by a bus!!Could happen anyday for no reason at all.Anybody with the same injuries who has 20+years in a wheelchair.Please just stop by and tell me it is possible to live a LONG life.Just so I can set my mind at ease.

i work for a lady, whom has been in a wheelchair for 42 years. at 16 she broke her neck C-4 C-5 doc's told her she would not make it past 25, she just truned 60.

#8 Hawkeye

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 03:57 PM

Anybody with the same injuries who has 20+years in a wheelchair.


I was 25 when I was injured. T-4/5 split, compelete. The Dr told me I may live to 50. 28 years later... it will be my lifestyle and not my injury that will do me in.

Joe

#9 noone

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 05:49 PM

hi melash
i'm a quad for over 35 years.injured at age 13 and now 48.
i hope and pray to keep on living. i guess i'm lucky cause i never had a pressure ulcer.
bladder infections plenty but nothing you can't fix.even gave birth to 5 children.no doctor
thought possible.
i try to stay healthy.no smoking.careful when its cold.
anyway death happens to all of us.its not in our hands. so take every day as it comes.
take care noone :scooter:
noone

#10 Bernard Briggs

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 04:08 AM

t10 since 1975 motor accident and apart from sore shoulders occasionly oh and getting slower as I get older. I suffered with many bladder infections for 28 years but touch wood none since september 2005. Never spent a night back in hospital since accident. Dont htink life span changes its all the luck of the draw

#11 marypure

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 06:35 AM

my husband was injured at 2 years old..he is turning 31 next week...healthy as a horse..

#12 Tom S

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 10:21 AM

T6/7 at the age of 49 (m/cycle accident), now in my 69th year. Alchohol in moderation and smoked a pipe since I was 23. I keep to a healthy diet and take two long walks with my greyhound every day.

Apart from the odd head cold I don't get ill and still feel like I'm in my 20's.

My thoughts? Don't worry about what people say - just enjoy life as it comes.

#13 linda

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:48 PM

Hello there, my daughter has a C5 injury that she acquired prior to or at the time of birth, she is doing great with no sores or bladder infections either. She is now 22 years old and doing great, she been like this for 22 years and I don't see any signs of her dieing.

#14 Beka

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 04:14 AM

I stumbled upon your question after googling SCI/lifespan because I've been stressed out over the same question. My husband has been wheelchair bound for 11 years, T2, we have 3 kids and lately I've noticed alot of changes in his health and emotional wellbeing. I appreciate all of the replies from other SCI survivors. Guess one just doesn't really know....but then again, none of us do. Been a lonely journey...I'm 36 now, been married for 16 years to my hubby and am grateful to find a website to answer some of those questions I can never ask my friends.
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#15 SoliK

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:08 AM

My Grandpa broke his back when he was in his late 50's at T-10. He lived to be 98 years old. Passed away in October. Yet my dad, who was AB but suffered from diabetes passed away last month of kidney failure at the age of 68. So my grandpa (his dad) with the spinal cord injury lived a lot longer than my dad. I think it does depend on the person's attitude and how they take care of themselves. My grandpa always stayed active, kept working and took good care of his health. My dad on the other hand never really took care of his health and diabetes.

#16 jffsgrl

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:35 PM

My boyfriend was 18 when he was injured. He is a T-10/12 and just celebrated his 44th birthday this month. He is very active and is completely independent and works full-time. He makes sure to drink a lot, and I mean a lot of water, be cautious of his positioning so he doesn't develop pressure sores, eat lots of veggies and protein, takes supplements like; Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium. He has a great outlook on life and doesn't set limitations for himself, other than those things that are just plain impossible for someone with an SCI. He loves life and I think that the positive attitude that he has is the key to him living a long and healthy life. I am 41 and the one that will probably go before him for all the unnecessary and constant worrying that I do!
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#17 mellowgator

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:47 PM

melash,

i'd fire the doctor. maybe he has a bad track record and kills all his patients in 5-7 years. just saying. consider the source. i've been injured 23 years and have had 2 children post injury and i'm a quad. your doctor is a big fat quack!

mellowgator

Edited by mellowgator, 20 April 2010 - 09:52 PM.

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!

#18 Quad65

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 04:23 PM

I was injured when I was 17, in 1965. I'm 62 now and it will be 45 years in the chair this August. A cantankerous attitude and regular doses of Tequila will prolong your life.

Seriously, eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, sleep regularly, and get out and enjoy life. Unexpected Shit happens to everybody at inopportune times. Who knows when the jig is up?
-- Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you want to get even real bad.

#19 Peter Brackstone

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:19 PM

Does anybody have any suggestions to this subject?When my husband first got into his accident one of the doctors told me his life span would be from 4-7years.I never once thought about it till a wound care nurse asked me if I ever talked to my kids about what would happen if their dad passed away!After all their life span is usually 5-7 years.At the time all I could think about was Christopher Reeves!He was alive for a long time and he was in way worse shape due to his accident.At the time my husband had a pressure ulcer that wouldn't heal.Since then he has had surgery to fix it!But this is always on my mind!!I don't want to or know how to talk to our kids about this.Is it something I should worry about.Or does anybody else feel like in's kinda like getting hit by a bus!!Could happen anyday for no reason at all.Anybody with the same injuries who has 20+years in a wheelchair.Please just stop by and tell me it is possible to live a LONG life.Just so I can set my mind at ease.


I've been a paraplegic now for 37 years now after an accident in 1973, I was once told by a doctor that statistics show that you live around 40 years aftter your accident, my own doctor said he thought we lived a normal life span apart from not been able to walk, so I guess no one is sure but my doc says he hopes I live longer than 40 years, last time I was at the spinal unit in sheffield which was 6 years ago they said they would expect me to need an operation in 10 years to fix prolapsed discs in my neck too so they must believe we more or less expect to have a normal life span as an able bodied person ;)

#20 Tinbasher

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:24 PM

Remember that SCIs (especially high cervical) have only been routinely survivable since the 40s so there isn't a lot of information to use in arriving at these conclusions. I remember being told that my life expectancy could be reduced by 5 to 7 years, that was in 1985.

It used to be thought that SCI significantly shortened life expectancy becaus of complications like sores, chronic UTI, kidney problems, suicide etc.

Nowadays our life expectance is considered to be normal for paras if we look after our health and only slightly reduced for quads. vent use etc is a different story.

Tin
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#21 stillgotswag

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:04 PM

only 1 person knows your husbands lifespan. I didnt read these replies...I dont want to know everything, so maybe im being redundant, but I googled the lifespan for a quad c-5 c6 injured at 25 yrs old. about 40 yrs....surely a para should do as well or better. Dont worry about it only shortens both of your lifes.
I never did like snakes... so I got out the gutter.

#22 airart1

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:46 AM

i got to 20 years this past april, plan on 20 more........

#23 hooplady

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 02:00 AM

I always look at it this way...he should have died that night so any lifespan he has now is a bonus!

#24 Peter Brackstone

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:47 PM

i got to 20 years this past april, plan on 20 more........


Yup, no reason why you shouldn't :) :wheelchair:

#25 Saneaj

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 06:22 PM

Don't EVER go by stats! They just don't measure up to what a person is 'inside'. My hubby started out as a C2 and then a few years later leveled out to a C-5-6 with brain stem residuals. He lived for nearly 18 years when all they gave him was 6. He would still be alive today if it wasn't for that stupid black widow that bit him. So no one but the man upstairs can say how long a person with sci will live. It depends on that person's will to survive and the quality of love, support, and care that he or she receives. So don't let people throw you for an emotional loop like that. Life is too short to worry about when someone is going to go or not going to go....*hugs*
The wind blows...
Some are able to feel it...
Some are able to experience it...
But for some, they are only able to dream of it.

#26 Susie_nkc

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:10 PM

My ex wasn't suppose to make it through the night.... :mfromg:

Then they gave him 3 years! :cheers:

16 years later... we plan another vacation... In the new van we are trying to buy. :drive:

Living... being grateful for everyday... Knowing we aren't God.... and neither is the one telling people how long they have to live. :dev:

#27 airart1

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:40 PM

they are correct, one never knows when or where, and i wouldnt want to myself, just for example a friend just road 4000 miles 2 weeks ago and got killed on his bike in bristol running 10 miles an hour on sunday, best man you would want to know, life deals us such strange events that we never have control over......

#28 V10

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 02:04 AM

C6 Quad Complete...it's been 20yrs + and I'm still rollin! Even played Wheelchair Rugby for over 10yrs.

#29 4wheelz

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 07:37 AM

I always look at it this way...he should have died that night so any lifespan he has now is a bonus!

that's what i think too.. glad to be on life #3 actually.

uplifting to know that our life span is just about normal. the high possibility of RF kind of worries me a bit but i'm not going to lose sleep over it. we go when we're meant to..

#30 ForeverChanged

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:08 AM

Does anybody have any suggestions to this subject?When my husband first got into his accident one of the doctors told me his life span would be from 4-7years.I never once thought about it till a wound care nurse asked me if I ever talked to my kids about what would happen if their dad passed away!After all their life span is usually 5-7 years.At the time all I could think about was Christopher Reeves!He was alive for a long time and he was in way worse shape due to his accident.At the time my husband had a pressure ulcer that wouldn't heal.Since then he has had surgery to fix it!But this is always on my mind!!I don't want to or know how to talk to our kids about this.Is it something I should worry about.Or does anybody else feel like in's kinda like getting hit by a bus!!Could happen anyday for no reason at all.Anybody with the same injuries who has 20+years in a wheelchair.Please just stop by and tell me it is possible to live a LONG life.Just so I can set my mind at ease.


Hey Hun, you're husband can die at any time.....but so can you. I've been a paraplegic for over 15 years. I've had pressure sores but not since I stopped smoking 8 years ago. My problem is urinary tract infections and I've even been able to get those somewhat under control by using Myralax. I didn't realize that being 'backed up' could cause UTI's. I still get them but nowhere near as often. What made me try out Myralax was a CONSTANT UTI. I was getting 3 or 4 a year up until a year and a half ago and suddenly I got one, took my round of antibiotics, got rid of it and within 5 days it was back and that went on like that for over 6 months. Finally, one doctor mentioned that I had ecoli in my urine. I asked myself, "where does ecoli come from?" and I thought, "feces has ecoli in it." I started with the Myralax and I've been doing even better than before the constant UTI. I've only had 2 UTI's the past year and a half. My point is that your husband IS going to have problems but he needs to take control over his own body and to hell with the doctors. My doctor couldn't figure out the UTI problem so he sent me to a urologist and she did an ultrasound and then she stuck a scope up there. Neither test showed anything so she said, "I don't know what's happening. Everything appears normal so I guess it's just going to be a fact of life for you" and I thought, "to hell with you, you idiot." I obviously chose the wrong profession. I should have been a urologist. Hell, I can learn to do 2 tests. I guess that's all you have to do. Your husband knows his body better than any doctor so he needs to just keep paying attention to what's happening, apply some common sense and then do everything he can do stay healthy. Being a quad, he probably has to worry about autonomic dysreflexia and other than that, it's just the basic SCI issues, UTI's, pressure sores and things like that. As for your kids, just let them know that everyone dies. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed for ANY of us so you make the best out of today. Let them know that, "yes, he does have a serious injury but he's strong. Just spend as much quality time with him as you can so if he dies tomorrow you know that you didn't waste any of the time you had." I guess the point is that you need to let them know that they need to enjoy every minute they can with him but that goes for everyone. We are all going to die. Nobody gets out of life alive. Just enjoy your time with him, whether it's a week or 30 years. If you do that, you'll be able to live at peace if he does die and he'll be able to go knowing that he's loved by his wife and his children. I have mentioned my health and dying to my son but NOT to make him feel guilty so he spends more time with me. I did it because I know my son. He's got a big heart and if I were to die tomorrow and he had passed up a chance to spend time with me, that will eat him up inside for the rest of his life and I don't want that. I was adopted so my son is the ONLY blood relative I've ever had. He's my life and I make sure I tell him that ALL THE TIME. If I die tomorrow my son will know that he was the most important thing in my life. I spend as much time with my wife and my son as I can and I enjoy my life as much as possible. I also tried to do everything I did before my accident so I didn't feel like my life had been turned upside down. I rigged my Harley with a sidecar and a hand shifter. I bought some bi-pods and a crossbow so I could continue to deer hunt. I even go bungee jumping and I also race Luge. This may sound rather prejudice, but I don't hang around too many people in wheelchairs because, in my experience, many of them feel sorry for themselves and that just pisses me off. There are children out there in the same or worse shape than most individuals with SCI's and most of them are there through no fault of their own. Most of the people I know in wheelchairs are there because they did something stupid, not all, but most. Personally, I have nobody to blame but myself for my condition. I was drunk, I chose to get behind the wheel and drive home. I ran into 3 trees, a telephone pole and a house doing 130mph in my new Camaro. I was thrown out of the car and onto the roof of the house. I rolled off the other side of the house and landed on the porch. Since that time I filmed a documentary, "Forever Changed: A True Story That May Save Your Life" and I also started speaking in schools around the country, and most recently, in Canada. I also spent 5 years in 82nd Airborne Division so I speak to soldiers too. After my accident people were constantly telling me they were surprised that I was so upbeat about things and they wondered why I wasn't depressed. Hell, I ran into a FRIGGIN' HOUSE DOING 130MPH.....I should be dead. I'm just grateful to be alive. Do I have some bad days??? Of course but I just remind myself that there are children worse off than me so I have NO RIGHT feeling sorry for myself. I'll stop babbling now. I just wanted to let you know that your husband is in control of his own destiny. Not that we can live forever but you know what I mean. Make the best of today, prepare for tomorrow and just keep 'keepin on'. Don't scare your kids needlessly. Just tell them to spend as much quality time with him as well as YOU and the rest of your family and make the best of the time you have and that way you won't say to yourself, "God, I should have spent more time with him" because you'll know that you did spend time with him and it was quality time. Just don't forget to live YOUR lives too. By the way, if you'd like to see how I put my Harley together, I used it in my documentary. I have a couple of short clips from the documentary on my web site. The web address is; www.ForeverChangedLLC.com. It's kinda cool and I realize that your husband is a quad but the same thing could be done to quad runners and other ATV's. I don't know if you're into that type of thing but if you are, there is a way to do pretty much ANYTHING. They are even making parachute jumps now and NOT in tandem. That's my next goal. Like I said, I spent 5 years in 82nd Airborne Division so I got paid to jump out of planes and I miss it. Looking into doing it again and without being attached to someone else was actually how I found this web site. There is a man whose doing it on this site. Anyway, I'm babbling again so I'll 'shut up' now...lol. Good luck to you and God bless you all!!!! Sincerely, Tom

PS. Sorry 'bout this 'full length novel'. I hope it's worth reading....lol.


Spinal Cord Injury & Cauda Equina Syndrome Support

This website is a way for those with spinal cord injuries and cauda equina syndrome to share experiences and advice. Any medical matters, treatments or alternative therapies discussed on this website should be thoroughly reviewed by a medical professional or therapist before being acted upon. Under no circumstances should you alter prescribed medication or a medical care plan without consulting your doctor or care plan supervisor first.