Spinal cord victim hopes to open treatment facility

A spinal cord injury often produces significant pain and suffering, along with substantial medical bills and potential paralysis. According to New Orleans Public Radio, a Louisiana resident who suffered a spinal cord injury is hand cycling across the northern portion of the state to raise money for other victims who suffer a spinal cord injury “one hand revolution at a time.”

Money will potentially be used to open treatment facility

The “Cycling for Independence” ride is in its second year, and organizers hope to raise $50,000 from the event.

The man sustained the spinal cord injury in a car accident 14 years ago and was left paralyzed. After the injury he decided to form his own nonprofit organization, Independence Regained, a few years ago. With proper funding, the organization can potentially open a 10-bed facility within a few years. The facility will help spinal cord victims regain basic life skills and relearn daily functions. The facility will be Louisiana’s first neurological rehabilitation facility.

Currently, victims of a spinal cord injury who have health insurance must travel out of state for this type of rehabilitation. The man says he was inspired to open the facility after being contacted by numerous victims asking where they could receive local treatment.

Consequences of a spinal cord injury

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a spinal cord injury is usually caused by a sudden, substantial blow to the spine that results in fractured or dislocated vertebrae. Displaced bone fragments, ligaments or disc material bruise or tear the spinal cord tissue, resulting in immediate damage. This is commonly the case in a motor vehicle crash.

The injury is especially serious when axons, which are the portions of nerve cells that transmit messages between the spinal cord and the brain, are damaged. A spinal cord injury could result in complete paralysis, depending on the amount of axons that are damaged.

Spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete. An incomplete spinal cord injury means that the spinal cord is still somewhat capable of communicating with the brain. A complete spinal cord injury occurs when an individual sustains complete loss of sensory and motor function below the point of injury.

Individuals who sustain any type of spinal cord injury are likely to experience a variety of medical complications such as bladder and bowel issues. Chronic pain and an increased risk of heart and respiratory problems are also typical consequences of a spinal cord injury.

Damage from a spinal cord injury can be reduced through intense treatment and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation programs usually consist of a mix of physical therapy, counseling and skill-building activities designed to help victims regain the ability to perform daily tasks.

Compensation for spinal cord injury

Individuals who sustain a spinal cord injury are likely to face substantial medical bills, lost wages and intense pain and suffering. Rehabilitation costs are also likely to be high. In the case of an injury that results from a negligent driver, consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney can be very helpful. A qualified attorney who understands spinal cord injuries can thoroughly investigate the cause of the injury and help obtain all justified compensation.