As Robert Thompkins climbed to the top of Green Valley Falls in September 2005, he had no idea that in a few short moments he would never walk again.
He made the decision to jump off a cliff into the water below, never knowing how incredibly shallow it was. As he hit the rocks beneath the surface, he severed his spinal cord from the T12 to the L3 vertebrae. He was 25.
Such an accident can either destroy a person’s ability to see the beauty in life or reinforce it. The now 33-year-old Thompkins chose the latter.
I am a 50 year SCI ‘spinal cord injury’ survivor. I wrote this hoping it might encourage someone or help them get diagnosed.
Life is pretty much what we make of it, change is constant in a body and this world, but we can cope with those changes.
Stuff happens, we must cope with what comes our way. We just need a combination of faith, good doctors and medical technology, hard work and some luck.
Hi, My name is Raffy. Located at Lamitan City Basilan in the Philippines.
What started out a dream has now become reality. I began writing Not Without God a couple of years ago, and I wrote sporadically in the beginning. As both of my parents battled serious illnesses I realized (yet again) how precious life is—and how our time is short. My book describes how I healed from near-fatal injuries as a result of an accident that left me paralyzed at sixteen. While crossing the street to get to my friend’s bus stop, I was hit by a car. It’s a miracle from the Lord that I’m alive and able to walk.
A cautioning inspirational quote—Expect Nothing. Be ready for anything.—might be wise words to live by, but with a spinal cord injury, nothing like it is even on your radar screen, and it’s virtually impossible to be ready for it. In our exclusive interview with speaker, writer, publisher, and businesswoman Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti, she describes how she struggled to sustain an active life, well-lived before her spinal cord injury, after a freak accident dramatically altered her future on June 13, 1998.
“Are you okay?” my student asked concerned.
“Sure, why wouldn’t I be?” I responded in a confused tone, but I knew why she asked.
“Oh, it’s just…because you’re sitting today,” she started to stutter as her voice got lower almost not claiming what she just said.
As I rolled my wheelchair to the front of the classroom under my desk I assured her, “Oh, yea, I brought my wheelchair today.
My dad fell in church the other day. He said it happened as he was going down the steps. He felt a shooting pain in his back shortly before and there was nowhere to sit. As he walked down the step his leg gave out, he collapsed. Other church members hurried over to catch him. He suffers from Sciatica and some arthritis. He turned 80 last July. Aging can bring about some of this. I think he’s becoming addicted to these cortisone shots. He’s had several and always seems to think that is the cure. Once the medication wears off, the pain comes back. I was talking to him about the importance of exercise and moving around. I notice he doesn’t move around as much. Naturally, when we don’t move our body weakens.
I kept thinking, if it’s that hard for my dad to move without having paralysis. Imagine how much harder it is for the paralyzed? Well, I can imagine, because I have been.
Did something catastrophic ever happen to you? Where your life changed in an instant? Did you wake up in a hospital bed, not knowing where you were, or how much time passed? It happened to me. I never thought I would be hit by a car at sixteen years old, while crossing the street on my way to school. Nor did I think once I survived the accident, it would live with me every day for the rest of my life.
I was flown to the University of Michigan hospital, where I underwent 12 hours of emergency surgery. My injuries were so severe, doctors predicted I might not make it through the night. The first several days were critical. My spine was dislocated, and broken at the L1-L2 level. I had a fracture in my C1 vertebrae. A broken left femur, a broken right tib fib, and a broken left tib fib. I was paralyzed. I’m lucky it wasn’t worse! And that wasn’t even all of my injuries.
On her first vacation in 10 years, a severely injured Pennsylvania State Police trooper found herself being detained in Mexico by authorities investigating a fatal crash.
For 13 hours, Jean Altomari lay strapped to a spinal board in a primitive hospital some 1,500 miles from home. With her insurance card locked in a safe on a Carnival Legend cruise ship, treatment was minimal and an immediate transfer to a trauma center in Florida delayed. What little Spanish she knew wasn’t helping, and no one around her spoke much English.
T The part of the spinal cord that is situated at the bony segmental level of L1 contains most of the spinal cord that represent the L1-S4 spinal segments. These segments innervate the pelvic area and the legs.
Collections of neurons in these segments control a variety of functions. These include walking (locomotion), the series of reflexes leading to urination (micturation), sexual function, etc.