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Spinal cord injuries can’t keep three Arkansans from living

Published: February 12, 2018 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Jen Goodwin did everything she was supposed to do — she graduated from college, bought her first house and accepted her dream job in Little Rock. Then in 2008 she decided to spend a June day on Lake Hamilton with her neighbor.

The two were boating around the lake, looking at the lights bouncing off the surface when he, standing on the edge of the boat, fell.

His head slammed onto the back of her neck, and she immediately knew that something was off. Continue Reading »

Brett Colonell: An Artist in Training

Published: January 24, 2018 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

When Brett Colonell took up sketching as a hobby years ago, he didn’t know yet how it would one day evolve into an integral part of his life. Even now, as he explores art as a fulltime profession, he still refers to himself as an artist in training, despite the significant audience his art has drawn on social media.

What many of his fans don’t know is that in 1997 Brett sustained a complete C4-C5 spinal fracture after a motocross accident, leaving him a quadriplegic with no movement from the neck down. After his spinal cord injury, he completed his rehabilitation at Craig Hospital. Continue Reading »

Quadriplegic with ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ defies odds, still improving

Published: January 12, 2018 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , , ,

Brian Keefer has always been an adrenaline junkie.

A 2008 gymnastics accident in which Keefer suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic could have stopped him, but it didn’t.

“Brian’s had some adventures since he’s had his injury,” his father said.

From scuba diving in the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, where “sharks swam right into my face,” to ziplining at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Lewisberry, Keefer has had his share. Continue Reading »

Twenty years after paralyzing fall, Tasha Schuh’s life is an open book

Published: November 26, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Tasha Schuh is used to getting embarrassing questions about her sex life.

Schuh, paralyzed from the chest down since she fell through a stage trap door in 1997 during a rehearsal for her high school musical, said she understands why people are curious.

“You know, I live in a very small town,” said Schuh, 36, of Ellsworth, Wis. “People would stop me at the grocery store and were, like, ‘Um, how’s that going to work?’”

Schuh isn’t afraid to overshare when she answers. Continue Reading »

Spinal Cord Research Participant Shares Journey to Recovery

Published: November 21, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the Kessler Foundation’s 16th annual “Stroll ‘N Roll” and speaks with Rosalie Hannigan, a Kessler spinal cord research participant, about her accident and her journey to recover her mobility. Continue Reading »

‘Extreme Makeover: Home’ still changing York County quadriplegic man’s life 6 years later

Published: November 3, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

Every morning, Brian Keefer looks up at the framed words of encouragement covering his bedroom wall, and he smiles.

“Brian, you keep smiling because that’s what makes you so special! … Keep believing that you can fly!” one says.

“You’re my hero and inspiration,” reads another.

Those notes, written by friends and family, are Keefer’s favorite part of the room “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” built for him in 2011. Continue Reading »

‘I never got to thank the stranger who saved my life’ – Coldplay fan left paralysed after diving into pool on family holiday

Published: September 23, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

Rob O’Byrne was left in a wheelchair after he dived into the shallow end of a swimming pool

A Dublin man has described his “nightmare holiday” after he was left paralysed in a freak accident while in Spain with his family.

Rob O’Byrne (29) from Co Dublin was drinking by the pool with his family when he jumped into the shallow end of the pool. Continue Reading »

Surfer finds freedom in California

Published: August 25, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

Jay Liesener, Team Surfgimp conquer more than just West Coast waves

With sunburnt cheeks and scabbed-over nose, Jay Liesener’s face tells it all. His recent trip to surf California’s southern coast was a success.

That’s a good sunburn, said Liesener with his head-wide smile as his wife, Melanie, helped him get out of their van.

Liesener is a quadriplegic and adaptive surfer who lives in Milton. When Gazette readers last saw him, it was days after a crowd-funding effort had raised more than $15,000 to send him and his team, Team Surfgimp, on a bucket-list-checking surfing trip to southern California. Continue Reading »

A Year Ago He Was Paralyzed From the Neck Down — Then This Happened

Published: August 24, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: , , ,

You might feel a bit down if you watch the news. Who wouldn’t?

Angry people might be grabbing headlines and making you wonder about the future, but the antidote is all around you.

Talk to some of your neighbors. Chances are, no matter what they look like or where they’re originally from, you’ll find they’re actually pretty decent people — just like you.

The little improvements we all try to make may not register much, but the accumulation of them all eventually does. Continue Reading »

Quadriplegic author: ‘I will be out of this chair one day’

Published: August 3, 2017 | Category: News | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

The story he wanted to tell was several decades in the making, so it’s easy to see why David Rippy took two-and-a-half years to compose his memoir.

That it centered on the impact that a one-car crash which left him paralyzed from the shoulders down had on his life – both for good and for bad – makes that accomplishment amazing, though.

“I took two summers off to write. It’s hard to stay indoors and work when it’s nice out,” said Rippy of the process that brought about “Captain of My Soul: Mastering a Destiny Altered.” Continue Reading »