Monthly Archives: April 2013
Imagine being paralyzed: whatever position you are in right now, you must stay there– until someone comes to move you.
As an American, the chances of you becoming paralyzed are roughly one in fifty.
With a U.S. population of 315 million, an estimated 5.6 million children and adults suffer paralysis. That’s 1.7% of America’s population, members of your family and mine.
One is my friend who recently incurred a nerve condition called Guillain-Barre’ (gee-on burray, GB) syndrome. He was paralyzed in hands and legs, but fortunately had the good sense to get to a physician immediately.
WASHINGTON — Asheauna Pryor loves dogs. Her pit bull, Dre, may be her favorite, but she lights up when a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Lewis is around.
The two often play one of Lewis’ favorite games: hide-and-seek. At a recent visit, Asheauna sent him out of the room and hid his toy and ball. When Lewis returned, he needed several clues to find the toy. But when asked where the ball was, the retriever didn’t disappoint. Within seconds, Lewis sniffed it out from behind a mat.
“Well, that was fast,” Asheauna said with a laugh. Then it was on to more hiding and seeking.
This might seem like all fun and games, but the weekly sessions involving Lewis and Asheauna have a serious purpose: to help the 8-year-old move her arms and hands.
Counter height, the width of the kitchen, and sink accessibility all matter when remodeling a kitchen for someone who uses a wheelchair.
In her great essay about designing a wheelchair accessible kitchen, Dr. Rosemary Rossetti calls the kitchen “the most important room of the house”. I agree. Can you imagine not being able to use your own kitchen? Fortunately, there are some great remodeling contractors, architects, and designers out there who are trained in Universal Design. If you are just getting started with the process of remodeling a kitchen to make it wheelchair accessible, this list could help you to get an overview of the components of a wheelchair accessible kitchen.
Reports of paralysed animals walking again can give unrealistic hopes to people with spinal injuries. What is more important is that they develop the skills and perspective to get on with their lives
A recent breakthrough in regenerative medicine saw paraplegic dogs regaining some function in their back legs: inevitably, the headlines talked of hope for human patients with spinal cord injury.
But the head of clinical psychology at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Professor Paul Kennedy, argues that this kind of “magic bullet” reporting can be damaging to people who are coming to terms with a life-changing injury.
Skiers call them “bluebird days.” They’re the magical days following an overnight snowfall, full of fresh powder, bright sun and friends who are drawn to the slopes by the same irresistible lure of nature.
On February 22, Andrew Fuhrmann was having his own bluebird day at Jay Peak in Vermont, reveling in two feet of new snow until a seemingly minor ski accident left him paralyzed from the neck down.
The 23 year old Holden resident and expert skier happened to hit a small bump on the trail the wrong way and took a spill.
LAKE CITY – One year ago, Mackenzie Gorden was leading the life of a typical teenager.
As a high school junior, she participated in cheerleading and dance team at South Central Calhoun High School and prepared for the recital at the studio in Carroll where she took dance lessons.
Just weeks after that recital, Gorden’s life changed when she swerved to miss a deer in the road and her truck rolled down a hill off a curvy road south of Lake City.
Gorden sensed something was wrong, but she didn’t know the extent of her injuries.
“I knew something had happened, something wasn’t right,” Gorden said. “I couldn’t move my fingers to reach my phone to call for help. I tried to honk the horn to get someone’s attention.”
Almost two hours passed before she was discovered.
This guide has been put together to offer assistance to those travelling on a cruise with a disability or if travelling with someone with special requirements.
Cruises offer a great way to get away for many disabled travellers, as modern cruise ships offer fantastic facilities onboard. Disabled access cabins are much easier to get around in if you have limited mobility. The layout of most modern ships are also much more accessible to all passengers and the well trained crew and medical staff are on hand to help where possible.
Almost 18 years after a devastating car accident that changed her life, Jaime Smitherman is using her personal tragedy to empower others disabled by injuries.
Smitherman was a 16-year-old cheerleader and honor student at Boaz High School when the accident occurred. The summer before her senior year, she and a friend were driving down Martling Road toward the Asbury community when their car went off one of the infamous double bridges into the creek below. Smitherman survived the accident but suffered a broken neck and spinal cord injury leaving her permanently paralyzed from the chest down.
Last year Claire Lomas, who is paralysed from the chest down, was hailed as one of the most inspiring women in Britain when she completed the London Marathon in 17 days with the help of a bionic suit. Unable to feel her feet, she had to look down at every step she took over the 43km route, averaging 2.4km each day, often in the pouring rain.
She’s about to set off on her next physical challenge – a 644km hand cycle ride around England on a fundraising mission for Spinal Research and The Nicholls Foundation. The money she raises will go towards stem cell research.
Ann Spungen, the principal investigator of the VA’s exoskeletal-assisted walking study, is excited about the ReWalk, a device invented by an Israeli scientist that allows paraplegics to walk again. ‘In the 22 years that I have been working in this field, it’s the most exciting intervention to come along.’
A research doctor at the Bronx VA is turning paralyzed vets into Iron Man.
And she’s doing it one man — and woman — at a time, with a robotic exoskeleton called the “ReWalk.”