How did your accident happen and what level are you?

ZcollieZcollie Posts: 138Moderator Moderator
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I broke my neck when I was 15 years old at the beach on Memorial Day in 2010. I ran into the water with a group of friends and saw a wave coming towards me. I decided to dive underneath it as I had done hundreds of times before. I grew up going to the beach my whole life. When I dove underneath the wave I hit a sandbar (a hill of sand underneath the water) headfirst instantly breaking my neck and becoming paralyzed. After I hit, my whole body went numb and I could not move a muscle in my body. I was still fully conscious laying face down in the water and could not even lift my head out of the water to take a breath. At that moment I accepted I was going to die that day. After what felt like and eternity, I felt this weird feeling on my back like someone was tapping me. It was one of my friends checking on me to see if I was okay. When I did not respond and my body started to float back out with the tide he knew something was wrong. He ran over to my body and flipped me over so my face was out of the water. I took a huge breath staring straight into the sun. He grabbed my hands and pulled me out of the water by them onto the sand. I remember looking at my arms as he let go of them and they fell to the ground as if they we not a part of my body. I tired to lift them, but they felt way to heavy. At the time my friends thought I was messing with them. I kept trying to say I can't moving anything, but for some reason I could not talk. Blood was coming from my mouth, when I hit my head I bit my tongue. Once they saw the blood they realized something was wrong. A lifeguard called 911 and an ambulance came and took me to the hospital. I was diagnosed as a C-4 incomplete quadriplegic. 
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI

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  • CruckerCrucker Posts: 52Moderator Moderator
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    I came about paralysis in the oddest, most random way possible. I was lying in bed on an early Tuesday afternoon, nursing what I thought was a head cold, when I felt an acute burning sensation around my waist, like I was being branded with a circular branding iron. It came and went in about two minutes. I felt physically very uneasy and the need to be constantly moving. At one point I hopped out of bed to go to the bathroom and staggered across the room, like I was drunk. I decided to take a warm bath and the moment I lowered myself in the water, my skin felt on fire. Now my walk back to the bed was torture. I had trouble picking one foot up after the other. It was like walking in quicksand. A few more minutes resting in bed, now in a mild panic, and when I attempted to get back on my feet, my legs collapsed and I fell to the ground. Now I was in a complete panic.

    In a span of hour and a half, I was paralyzed from T-10 down. I was diagnosed with a neuroimmunological disorder called transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spine, of, as they say, ideopathic origins. Why it occurred, experts in the field don't know. Why it occurred to me, they have even less of a clue.

    If you are interested in knowing more about transverse myelitis or similar rare but often devastating neuroimmune disorders, go to the site of the Transverse Myelitis Association at https://myelitis.org.

  • jaarchjaarch Posts: 47Moderator Moderator
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    Well, the short version is, I turned right on a left hand curve. Here's the full story. I was riding my motorcycle up a mountain road that turned out to be a very dangerous road to be on. I was passed by four different cars, that were coming down the mountain, in MY lane! Luckily, I was hugging the edge of the road so there was enough room for them to pass but I was a bit freaked out. As I entered a slow sweeping right, I saw the road made a hard left about half way through. I slowed down, downshifted, and got set up for the left. At some point, I realized I was close to the centerline and I started thinking about a car coming around and making me a hood ornament. I tried to adjust my position in my lane and completely threw off the geometry of the bike and the curve. It all happened so fast, I'm a little fuzzy on exactly what happened but I think I picked up my head and the bike made a beeline for the right shoulder. I realized I was going off the road and immediately went into my emergency stop procedures. As soon as the front tire left the pavement, the bars went full lock right and the bike stopped. I went up and over the windshield and did a perfect pile driver on top of my head. T-3 and T-4 were both crushed and a big chunk of T-3 pushed in and cut my cord.
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 138Moderator Moderator
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    Wow that is a crazy story @jaarch. Thanks for sharing.
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 160Moderator Moderator
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    Wow!  We all have some stories to tell don't we?  I was injured due to my type 1 diabetes.  On a Saturday morning in October of 2010, I awoke with a severe hypoglycemic episode (low blood sugar).  I was disoriented and wouldn't let my wife do anything to help me.  She said I was talking like a little boy and even ran outside in my boxers to get into my truck.  When my wife came to get me, I ran inside the house and hid from her.  The next thing she knows is she hears this sound like I was falling down the stairs.  What it was, was me, falling over the banister from the third floor of our house, about 12 feel down to the second floor, onto a hardwood floor.  I don't remember how I fell, the ambulance to the hospital or the helicopter ride to the regional trauma center.  The first thing I remember is waking up in ICU about a week after my surgery.  I suffered a T2 incomplete injury paralyzing me from the nipple line down.
  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Posts: 212Moderator Moderator
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    Hey guys,
    My boyfriend (Dan) is a C6 level and he had his accident while we were on vacation in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba. Dan and I were on our very first out of the country when he dove into the shallow end of the swimming pool, fractured his C5 and began to drown. We have been exactly 3 years in a wheelchair and 3 years without. Life is a crazy, wild ride but here we are! :)

    Elena (Wags of SCI)
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
  • 619Drake619Drake Posts: 18Member
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    @jaarch
    I am a motorcycle accident survivor as well. In 1989, I had just traded in my old bike on a used Honda 500 interceptor from a dealership and I was driving the new bike home. I lived at the beach and decided to check out the surf on my way to see if I should grab my board and hit the water. Instead, I hit a dip in the road and the bike totally bottomed out on me causing me to lose control and crash into a palm tree. Broke my back at T-5. It turned out there was no air in the front shocks which caused the accident. By the time I was in a position physically and mentally to pursue legal action the bike and the road were no longer in the same condition as the day of the accident making it impossible to prove my theory. I always say I would have made a lousy millionaire anyways. 
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 160Moderator Moderator
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    I just got done re-reading everyone's "how I got injured story" and man oh man what a trip.  But like someone said, we are all still here.  Life is still beautiful to me and definitely worth living.

    Joe
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 138Moderator Moderator
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    Wow @jaarch I am sorry to hear that. I was unable to pursue legal action as well because my accident happened at the beach and I was only 15 years old. I had no idea my life would now be changed forever. However, I am happy to see you have a great sense of humor and a positive attitude! That is huge
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 160Moderator Moderator
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    @Zcollie
    Hey Z, I always remember what Mark Hamill once said after recovering from testicular cancer, " the only disability is a bad attitude."  I couldn't agree with him more...
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 138Moderator Moderator
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    @iamdadman Love it and totally agree!!
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • Mnichols23Mnichols23 Posts: 35Moderator Moderator
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    I was injured when I was 17 playing ice hockey. I was checked from behind (not maliciously) and once I fell the other player fell on top of me preventing me from protecting myself from the boards. I slid into the boards head first and broke my C-5. I also had a minor stroke so my right side is a little bit weaker than my left 
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 160Moderator Moderator
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    @Mnichols23
    You are still here and we are all grateful for that.  I am a T2/T3 and I have a bit more sensation on my left side as opposed to my right...
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 138Moderator Moderator
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    @Mnichols23 Glad you are here to! Did your accident change your views about hockey? Do you watch it?
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • Mnichols23Mnichols23 Posts: 35Moderator Moderator
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    @Zcollie I love hockey. I watch it everyday. I hold a big charity hockey game every year. Even though it may seem hockey took everything from me. The game has given so much to me.
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 160Moderator Moderator
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    @Mnichols23
    I love your attitude.  I was at this two week event for people with SCI called Empower SCI and one of the activities was going surfing.  I was sitting next to someone I had gotten friendly with and he had injured himself surfing.  He was very apprehensive and you could see how nervous he was.  When it was his turn, he did it and when he came out of the water (being carried by volunteers on his surfboard) he had the biggest smile on his face.  Surfing 1 SCI 0... your comment about hockey reminded me of that and I wanted to share it with you...
  • 619Drake619Drake Posts: 18Member
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    @iamdadman
    Cool story. I was a big surfer before my accident and have ventured into the ocean only a couple of times and never to surf. They have a big event each year for disabled surfing at a beach in La Jolla,  but I have not tried it. Surfing was such a big part of my life and I really loved paddling hard, feeling the wave catch my board, hopping to my feet and then gliding along the face of that beautiful wall of water. I think I am afraid the adaptive surfing will be a let down and will ruin those memories. I guess I am being selfish with the memories. Does anybody else have a "memory" pre-injury that they hold onto like that?
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 160Moderator Moderator
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    @619Drake
    Man, I have a lot of pre-injury memories.  Sometimes the longing for them is not good for me.  I still try to do the things I did pre-injury but of course, I do them differently.  It's funny I came across your post because just very recently I realized how much I miss when my wife would come up to me and want me to hug her.  I stood 6' and she always said how safe she felt in my arms.  I truly miss that.  We bought a love seat that we can sit next to each other on and hold hands and she will put her head on my shoulder which is really nice.  I miss playing golf.  When I was in San Diego, I got to use a special golf cart that stands you up but man it was so hard.  After hitting about 10 golf balls, I was exhausted!  I was always very active and loved playing all kinds of sports with my three brothers and I truly miss that as well.  Just thinking about all of those things makes me sad.  I try to keep the focus on the many blessings I still have and there are plenty.  Yes, but being paralyzed SUCKS!  I am still here though and all the people who love me are grateful for that...

    Joe
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 138Moderator Moderator
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    @Mnichols23 That is awesome man! Having a positive attitude and outlook on life is so huge in a SCI injury. I broke my neck at the beach and still love going to the beach and hanging out there. A lot of people ask me if my views about the beach has changed for me and it hasn't. I love hockey! Really enjoying playoff hockey right now! Such an exciting and badass sport!
    @619Drake I can relate to pre-injury memories.. I miss riding dirt bikes. I was a very active kid growing up and enjoyed doing extreme sports. However, I will always have those memories but have come to terms that I most likely will never do that again. It does suck! but it is my reality. I am a very realistic and logical person. I do not like things to be sugar coated. I just do my best to focus on the things I can still do.  
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Posts: 212Moderator Moderator
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    Hi All -
    My husband is a C4 quad and he got hurt at work when a load of flooring that was secured improperly fell on his head, instantly paralyzing him from the chest down. That was 5 years ago. He's a C4 but has C3 function in his left arm because he was severely injured on one side more than the other. He had a C3-C7 burst fracture with cage and liquified bone to fuze his neck. 

    Brooke 
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
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