NEW HAVEN — Lindsey Runkel says there are no inappropriate questions to ask her.
There certainly are many questions to ask.
Like, how does a nurse, paralyzed from the chest down, do her job from a wheelchair? How does she stay so effervescently positive all the time? Why does she continue to go mountain biking after a crash in New Hampshire pinched her spinal cord, breaking two vertebrae?
When Don McGrail first met Garrett FitzGerald out of the Secret Service’s Boston office in September 2015, he noticed a focused, driven individual.
And though FitzGerald’s circumstances have dramatically changed since, that hasn’t changed.
An accident that left FitzGerald paralyzed in December 2015 changed him physically, but it hasn’t affected his determination. It’s pushed him through challenging times, through years of rehab at Journey Forward as he continues to try to improve, and it will no doubt carry him this Monday. That’s when he and McGrail will combine to be a dual team — FitzGerald in a wheelchair, and McGrail pushing him — as they run the Boston Marathon, a goal that’s been years in the making.
As Beau Vernon scooped up the football one Saturday afternoon at Leongatha seven years ago, he was collected in the head by a Wonthaggi opponent. It wasn’t a big hit, he said, just “wrong angle and wrong time”. He could have added “wrong bloke”, but did not.
“I fell to the ground and knew straight away something was very wrong,” he said.
He could not move his arms or legs. Nor could he feel his limbs when trainers touched them. “That time laying on the ground was the scariest of my life,” he said. Thinking he had broken his neck, he warned teammates, including his younger brother Zak, not to touch him. Less than two hours later, he was in an induced coma in the Alfred hospital. His parents, then on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa, flew home in a miserable hurry.
CALGARY — Paralyzed Humboldt Broncos player Ryan Straschnitzki is on his hands and knees trying a skill he hasn‘t had to practise for 18 years — how to crawl.
Straschnitzki, with the assistance of two physiotherapists, is being shown how to keep himself upright on his arms and how to move his legs forward, a few inches at a time.
Don’t ever call me ‘wheelchair bound’. My wheelchair doesn’t bind me – it liberates me!
The wheelchair represents many different things, depending on the beholder’s personal experience. Many is the time I have been acutely aware that my wheelchair makes me the living embodiment of that blue symbol that adorns bathrooms and parking spaces.
I hadn’t really given wheelchairs much thought myself, until 13 years ago when I fell from a tree and sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI), causing instant and permanent paraplegia.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The stranger had tears in his eyes as he pushed through a crowd to reach Sam Schmidt in his wheelchair.
Schmidt was watching his team tune up a pair of engines, the roar was relentless and the man had to lean in close and shout in Schmidt’s ear to be heard. Thank you, the man said over and over, never expanding upon his gratitude. He tried to shake Schmidt’s hand, awkwardly just patted it, thanked him again and backed away.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – From the moment her pencil hits the paper, Kelcee Yazzie never loses a smile, as she draws the subjects of her art.
Mark Mickens’ smile said it all.
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.
Having a spinal cord injury changes some things forever, but you can still have a full and rewarding life. A saying among people who have a spinal cord injury is, “Before your injury, you could do 10,000 things. Now you can do 9,000. So are you going to worry about the 1,000 things you can’t do or focus on the 9,000 things you can do?”
After they adjust, many people with spinal cord injuries are able to work, drive, play sports, and have relationships and families. Your rehab team can provide the support, training, and resources to help you move toward new goals. It’s up to you to make the most of what they have to offer.