Monday, January 18, 2021

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Mother, son hosting fundraiser for spinal cord injury victims

Published: October 31, 2012

A beach accident prompts a Fort Lauderdale mother and son to create Walking With Anthony, a non-profit that raises money to help spinal cord injury victims.

Anthony Purcell’s voice grows strained when he speaks about that February 2010 day that changed his life. Back in Florida visiting cousins, he dove into the water off South Beach and crashed into a sandbar.

“I thought I was going to die,” he recalls.

He didn’t. A cousin rescued him, but he was left paralyzed, with a broken neck and two bruised vertebrae.

Powered exoskeleton provides more independence to people with severe spinal cord injuries

Published: October 31, 2012

The dream of regaining the ability to stand up and walk has come closer to reality for people paralyzed below the waist who thought they would never take another step.

A team of engineers at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Intelligent Mechatronics has developed a powered exoskeleton that enables people with severe spinal cord injuries to stand, walk, sit and climb stairs. Its light weight, compact size and modular design promise to provide users with an unprecedented degree of independence.

Young people with spinal injuries face discharge to homes for elderly people

Published: October 30, 2012

Incurring a spinal injury when you’re young is surely difficult enough without having to convalesce in a home for older people

Linda Liebenberg did not expect to be in a home for older people at the age of 32. Nonetheless she spent 20 months living in one after being discharged from hospital, following treatment for a broken neck that had left her paralysed.

New research from the spinal injury charity, Aspire, suggests that one in five people with spinal injuries are likely to be discharged into residential or nursing homes for older people because of a lack of appropriate housing options.

East Coast Cripplers ‘are athletes first’

Published: October 28, 2012

VIRGINIA BEACH – Eric Ingram gives persons with quadriplegia a bad name – and likes it that way.

A Stickum-smeared, cheerful menace, Ingram is an East Coast Crippler, looking to stick it to the guy whose spine was snapped in a car accident or the war veteran whose injuries made her a triple amputee, should they block his way to the goal.

Quad rugby is an unforgiving sport, and Ingram, whose Internet moniker is Murderball, lives for it.

Things looking up for wheelchair-bound 10-year-old

Published: October 28, 2012

“MUMMY, I’m almost as tall as you!”

Breanna Medcalfe’s first words when she trialled a special wheelchair that allowed her to stand up would bring tears to any mother’s eye.

Breanna, 10, has always looked up to the world. She has not eagerly charted her growth with pencil marks on a doorway because of her life in a wheelchair as a result of a spinal cord injury.

Her mother, Maria, can help her stand with a special frame, but as Breanna grows that is becoming more difficult.

Maria has sourced a special “standing” wheelchair that can move Breanna into a standing position at the touch of a button, but the cost is out of reach for her family.

Alternative therapy could be the next step for those with spinal cord injuries

Published: October 25, 2012

Thin stainless-steel needles stand sentry on either side of her spine as she lies on a padded table facing the wall. It’s a position the small, feisty thirty-year-old can’t get into on her own: When she was nine, a teenage boy accidentally shot her, severing her spinal cord and paralyzing her below the chest. To get her here, her acupuncturist lifts her from her wheelchair and carries her, like a bride over a threshold. He props a pillow between her legs, hikes up her red Nebraska Huskers T-shirt, unwraps his sterile needles and taps them into the skin above where her black lace underwear peeks out from the top of her yoga pants.

Disability Network celebrates abilities

Published: October 23, 2012

Ability Award given to Hope College’s Louise Shumaker

Holland — Before a spinal cord injury put her in a wheelchair 15 years ago, Jocelyn Dettloff didn’t give much thought to what it meant to “live independently.”

Today, however, she believes independence includes asking for help when it is needed.

Dettloff shared her story Tuesday evening of her dream to live on her own, after she returned from Namibia, where she’d sustained her injury while sledding down a sand dune.

Getting Back Up

Published: October 22, 2012

Scott Fedor, MBA ’04, charts a new course after a devastating spinal cord injury.

For Scott Fedor, MBA ’04, a common entry in an old planner — “pick up dry cleaning” — is a portal to another life. Though Fedor scribbled that to-do in 2009, he left the pants hanging at a suburban Cleveland cleaners.

“It’s amazing to think what my mindset was when I dropped those pants off,” Fedor says. “I took for granted that after the Fourth of July weekend, I would pick them up and wear them to my next sales meeting.”

Renewed hope for Toni Greaves

Published: October 21, 2012

FORMER national female cricketer Toni Greaves says she never lost hope of walking again after a gunman shot her in the back, leaving her with a spinal cord injury in late 2007.

So, when tests done on the 26-year-old paralympian in London this summer showed that there was still some “correspondence” between her legs and her brain, she was elated.

“I have never stopped dreaming that I will walk again and be able to resume my normal life,” Greaves told the Sunday Observer last week. “The results of the tests have given me renewed hope.”

Virtual sailing program helps disabled

Published: October 16, 2012

Susan Hendricks reports on a program helping spinal cord injury patients gain strength and self-confidence in sailing.