The UW Department of Rehabilitation Medicine recently acquired a new full-size van for its Driving Rehabilitation Program that is equipped with adaptive technology advanced enough to enable people with C5 spinal cord injuries to drive. “This new van is really cutting-edge. It’s only the second one ever built,” said Frances Tromp van Holst, Occupational Therapist at the University of Washington Medical Center and coordinator of the Driving Rehabilitation Program. “Ours is the only program in the WAMIO (Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Oregon) region with this technology. It allows me to train people I hadn’t been able to serve before—clients with C5 or weak C6 injuries.”
It’s 2:00 A.M. on a Saturday morning when police spot the limp body of a man lying in a park in downtown Seattle. Initially they assume he is a street person “sleeping one off”, but further investigation reveals that he has been assaulted and cannot move. Emergency units are called and he is rushed to the nearest trauma unit.
After extensive examination, it is found that the man has been struck with a blunt object and has sustained a high-level spinal cord injury that will leave him paralyzed from the neck down.
Many people are raising funds for spinal cord injury (SCI) research but do not have a clear idea of what the funds are paying for. In the article, I will explain research grants and the cost of SCI research, the funding situation in the field, how to improve the quality and rate of research, and what we are doing at Rutgers University to encourage collaboration.
Managing Disability Related Expenses
Along with the emotional and physical challenges that lie ahead, your finances will be an ongoing concern. The cost of health care and other disability-related expenses is extremely high, and you will need to have a clear plan for managing your personal finances.
Many people who receive large settlements are faced with the choice of whether to take their awards in the form of a lump sum or a structured settlement over a period of time. This is an important decision that can have a substantial effect on you and your families long-term financial well-being.
Summary of Basic Science Research
As you can see by the facts detailed above, the problem of CNS response to injury is incredibly complex. No one theory or approach will overcome all of the effects of SCI, and many scientists now believe that the “cure” will not be found in a single approach, but rather in a combination of techniques. Consequently, it is important for all possible research areas to be addressed so our overall knowledge about how the system works may eventually lead to a cure for SCI.
American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)
Group of medical and other professionals engaged in treatment of spinal cord injury: to promote and establish standards for health care, education, to foster research and to facilitate communication between members.
Australasian Spinal Research Trust (Australia)
The Trust is dedicated to finding a cure for paralysis via promotion and funding of research and dissemination of information about developments in research.
Canadian & American Spinal Research Organization (Canada)
An alliance of the CSRO and ASRO to help us maximize research and the fund raising efforts. Dedicated to the improvement of the physical quality of life for persons with a spinal cord injury through targeted medical & scientific research.