The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2008
    Carrollton, Ga

    Default Spinal Cord Injuries Who was made recovery or partial recovery

    My 17 year old nephew was in a terrible car accident last month. He is currently a quadriplegic. He has started gaining some movement in one finger but that is all. His neck is broken at c-5 through c-7 with 5 being the worst. At some point the Drs think the spinal cord was pinched but I am not sure if that was the case. The dr is waiting on the swelling to go down to see how much movement he will gain.

    The outcome, according to his dr is good but she would not discuss the meaning of that since all SC injuries are different.

    Has anyone had experience with this type of injury? What was your/ your loved ones outcome? He has a great attitude so far and we are hoping for a full recovery.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 19, 2011
    Madison, GA


    I don't know much about it, but this guy is a "walking quadriplegic" and he came on vacation to our ranch and rode every day.
    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006


    Patrick Ivison is working on it.

    etaActually this thread inspired me to google for updates, and here he is in a December, 2011 TED talk:
    Last edited by meupatdoes; Feb. 2, 2012 at 03:01 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2009


    I'm so sorry to hear about your nephew's injuries. I was bucked off a pony and fractured and dislocated my C7 on 11/12/2011.

    I have tingling in my left fingers and worse tingling in my right fingers. I am in a neck brace 100% of the time and out of work. I have scapular pain also.
    The surgeon is waiting to see how much healing I have before allowing me to stop wearing the neck brace.

    I was in 6 hours of emergency surgery. I have more info in the thread under disabilities - fused neck.

    I am lucky as I never lost the ability to walk. I don't know if or how much my spinal cord was comprised.

    I will remember your nephew in my prayers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Happily in Canada


    Check out Claire Lomas - who is now "walking" using a new robotic technology. Very positive person, skis with a sit-ski now, also married & had a child after her accident.

    Another very inspiring story, a young man who was into freestyle skiing - Josh Dueck. His story was featured in the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

    Best of luck.

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2005
    West Coast


    A close friend of mine broke his neck this summer - on July 4th. He was in a calm bay of water, swimming with friends, no alcohol involved. No one is exactly sure what happened, but he went under the water to swim forward and came up floating face down. Luckily a nurse at the beach was able to give him CPR and save his life.

    He broke c5-c7, completely shattering c6. He had 3 surgeries including a complete replacement of c6. He has metal brackets in his neck to stabilize the vertebra. He was in ICU on life support for several weeks.

    He has made an amazing recovery. He had no movement from the neck down for the first month, then slowly began to regain movement, starting with his feet. He was walking again in just under 2 months. He was released from the rehab facility after about 2 months as well.

    He is doing really well, living at home and functioning on his own. He was passed his driver's license test and was allowed to drive again in December. He still has some limited dexterity in his hands and fingers but is improving every day. They have made really amazing developments in the treatment of spinal injuries.

    Best wishes for your nephew and his recovery.
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2002
    Ontario, Canada


    30 yrs ago I fractured almost my entire back - compression fractures starting at mid Cs (don't remember which number the fractures started at), all the Ts, and the upper Ls. Horse accident. No one around. Knocked out, came too and was crawling around on my hands and knees for a couple minutes looking for my glasses before I gradually became totally paralyzed from the neck down by the time the ambulance arrived (thankfully could breathe on my own). Movement after the initial fractures by the way is how most people end up severing their spinal cord. I was so delerious and so young I didn't know any better anyway....

    They did not know if the paralysis was permanent or just due to swelling pinching off the spinal cord but initially were not hopeful. After a couple of weeks I gradually got feeling back. Shredded all the muscles on the right half of my back as well. Surgery was not possible to take the bone chips out, everything was left in. Took months to be able to sit on my own, then walk, then a year of physio but after that year I was in the best shape of my life (mega physio!) and was back riding.

    I still have major back issues which worsen with age and due to the head injury have awful positional vertigo but other than that came through with flying colors.

    So don't lose hope, they can't always tell a lot in the beginning, plus medical technology is far more advanced today than it was back then, so he's probably in great hands

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ


    I know a woman whose 22 year old brother fell three stories when the stairway up to their apartment collapsed. He wrapped himself around his 3 year old niece, which saved her. But the brother broke his neck.

    Right as I was coming home from doing some errands, I’d heard a crash, then these guttural noises coming from the back yard. I’d run to the gate, unlocked it, and was met by the sight of my nearly three-year old little girl, Rorysaurus, blood matting her curls and smeared all over her face. After realizing she wasn't hurt, I’d assumed something had happened to her brother, as all of my fears at that point centered on him, and was afraid she’d fallen on him while playing and had crushed his skull.

    I raced around the corner of the house, and scanned the ground for my son’s body. My eyes swept over the grass, over towards the laundry room, then back. I couldn’t find him. "He’s over there," our neighbor had said, pointing to the cement in front of the basement where we all did our laundry. And there, on the ground, was a mass of red, blue, flesh and dirt. I stared for a minute before rushing over to the heap that was my brother, Needlenoggin. He was lying flat on his back, looking up towards the swinging wooden planks that had been our landing, nearly three stories above him.

    Needlenoggin, then 22, had been taking Rorysaurus out the back door of our third story apartment, when the stairs had collapsed. They'd been holding hands, and then they were falling. In a split second, Needlenoggin pulled my little girl to his chest, rolling around her before they hit the support-beam midway through. His first thorasic vertebrae burst as they smashed through that 8 inch piece of wood, and then they finally slammed into the pavement and garden fencing 30 feet below my back door. He shattered two other T-level vertebra upon impact, fractured C-1 and C-2, sustained a traumatic brain injury and a compound fracture of one arm, and partially scalped himself.

    Rorysaurus walked away with a few minor scratches.

    After his fusion, and his 6 week stay in a rehab facility, my brother was sent home. We weren't provided with a nurse, a wheelchair, therapy or a doctor. We had to buy a wheelchair van, and my life became all about paraplegia, lawsuits, therapies, medications, bowel treatments and depression. Rorysaurus began treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but a wheelchair is a more visible sign of an injury, and so my brother commanded a much larger share of our attention, energy, time and money. We were told he might never feed himself, and wouldn't sit up, stand or walk ever again, and I had to encourage him to fight to get as well as he could in spite of the grim prognosis.

    What passed was easily the worst year of my life. I made new friends in the disability community, and learned important things (like not to say "wheelchair bound"). I gathered knowledge and pushed my naturally-lazy and now-depressed baby brother into working as hard as he could. MediCaid repossessed his wheelchair, refused to cover life-saving medications, and wouldn't provide for important Durable Medical equipment. I was forced to beg and borrow to keep him alive, all the while wondering what happens to people who don't have family, or who don't have tenacious family. One social worker answered bluntly. "They die." I felt myself losing my mind, as I didn't see an end to the constant care, and I couldn't see any chance to get help.

    The lawsuit ended, we moved out of California, and my brother now lives independently, with minor household assistance from live-in help. Had the lawsuit not gone the way it had, he'd still be living with me, and I know I'd have lost my mind. I now see my brother a few times a week, when we go to visit or go see a movie with him, or when he has some friends drive him over. He's still battling some pretty severe depression, and doesn't have enough fine-motor control to drive.

    (However, in our 2009 Christmas picture)
    He's standing, unsupported, holding his 40lb dog. And, when the Oakland fire-department invited him to their big gala, and we couldn't afford to go, my brother practiced, and practiced and practiced to make them a video.

    That is as far as he can walk, and, as you can see, he's a little unsteady. He wanted them to see how well he's doing, however, and for them to know he's grateful for everything they did for him, and for my daughter. (Full disclosure: the bike was a gift from the firefighters to my daughter, after they took her and Needlenoggin for a ride on a firetruck, and PJ is her favorite guy on the crew).

    Needlenoggin still isn't healed, either physically or mentally. He functions like a 13 or 14 year-old boy, has lost most of his short-term memory, and has horrific anxiety attacks. He can shuffle a few feet without crutches, and needs to use a wheelchair to do anything more than get through a parking-lot, but to a degree, his disability has become far less visible, which makes it hard to deal with things like this:

    The other day, I took Needlenoggin grocery shopping, and we took one of the blue reserved spots up front. I hopped out to get one of those little electric shopping carts, and he eased himself out of the passenger seat, a little unsteady on his feet, but upright, and shuffled over to meet me. A middle-aged woman, helping a spry elderly woman out of a sedan a few spaces down, looked at him, over at his placard, and then told him that being fat wasn't a disability. Needlenoggin I and just looked at one another in shock, and cracked up laughing, much to her dismay. When we'd settled, he turned to her and said, "One, neither is being old, and your mom seems to move much better than I ever will. And two, don't make assumptions. If you had taken the spot, we'd have parked that few feet away, and wouldn't have told you how you weren't "crippled enough" to use the space." Then, he summoned up all his dignity, sat down in the little cart, and pulled down the back of his T-shirt, exposing the foot-long, inch-wide fusion scar as he rode away at half-a-mile-an-hour.

    So yeah, the young man they told us would have a hard time writing his name now keeps his wheelchair in his garage, only to be used for long excursions. He moves around most of the time on fore-arm crutches, and has more friends than he did before his accident. He won his lawsuit, and I don't have to take care of him for the rest of my life, and we now live in a state where, if he hadn't won the lawsuit, he wouldn't be nearly as abused and mistreated as he was in California. We've pretty much escaped what we were handed two years ago today, and we could just count our blessings, be thankful for the miracles we've had, and never look back.
    Pictures and videos here:

    I especially enjoy (now that the worst is over) her Spinal Fusion cake, with a burst T-1.

    The initial prognosis in his case was grim. It's still not kittens and roses, but the two of them worked HARD, devilishly hard, doing physical therapy and continuing even when medical professionals told her it was no use. It made a difference. It was heartbreaking to hear about the accident the day it happened, and I know I cried the day I heard he had stood up.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2006


    Please visit equestrians with disabilities forum
    Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

    Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2008
    Carrollton, Ga


    Thanks everyone! He is in amazing spirits and is determined to walk again. I am not sure if I could handle it as well as he is.

    I will check out all the links and share your stories with him

    Hannahs mom, I hope you get pain free soon! So sorry

Similar Threads

  1. Spinal cord injuries?
    By StabledSolutions in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: Sep. 13, 2014, 04:27 PM
  2. Low-rider breeds, people, and spinal injuries
    By cardicorgi in forum The Menagerie
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jan. 28, 2012, 03:32 PM
  3. Replies: 8
    Last Post: Nov. 3, 2011, 10:26 PM
  4. Ligament Injuries & Recovery
    By PaddlezPony in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jul. 4, 2010, 01:01 AM
  5. spinal injuries in dogs
    By FindersKeepers in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: May. 18, 2010, 03:42 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts