Did you know it’s estimated that 1,500 children become paralyzed from spinal cord injuries every year? According to a Vitale survey (2007) conducted by MJ Mulcahey, an occupational therapist at Shriners Hospital, motor-vehicle accidents and violence are among the leading causes for such injuries.
My injury was caused by a car accident when I was around nine months old and I have paralysis at the C5-C6 level of my spinal cord. Children with such injuries are more likely to have issues with growth and development since their bodies are fragile and more susceptible to injury.
Many children have scoliosis, curvature of the spine, due to weakened muscles around the spinal column.
I had severe scoliosis after my injury and had it partially corrected when I was 16 years old. A spinal fusion was performed to place rods next to the spinal cord. The rods act as a brace for my spine.
My fusion corrected some of my scoliosis; however, the hardware had to be removed because my back didn’t heal well with the foreign objects in my body. There is a chance that I’ll have to have another fusion surgery in the near future. According to my orthopedic surgeon, the procedure has improved and should make the healing process a bit better.
Scoliosis is among the many problems I’ve faced while growing up with a spinal cord injury. My motto is: “When life throws you a ‘curve’ ball, you have to learn how to hit a home run out of the ball park!”
Next Week’s Sneak Peek
I’m headed to Atlanta, Georgia this Friday to the Abilities Expo! This event has the latest and greatest in disability resources and technology.
I’ll be posting videos and pictures of the event. Plus, I’ll talk with event organizers, vendors and participants to get their perspective of the Abilities Expo!
If you’re in the area, visit the Georgia World Congress Center (Hall C4) February 8-10. Admission is free! For more info, see Abilities Expo.