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Who Is The Oldest PARAPLEGIC or QUAD?

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    This is scaring the shit out of me. I was injured at 49 also. What kept me sane at the beginning was the realization that at least I won't live that long. Unfortunately this means a return to the nursing home for many of us, eventually. There is absolutely nothing worse than a nursing home, I've been in two.

    Better stash enough of my pain pills to take care of business.
    Last edited by forestranger52; 13 May 2010, 7:56 PM.
    C 5/6 Comp.
    No Tri's or hand function.

    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

    Teddy Roosevelt


      Very interesting comments ya'll keep them coming. Share some of the not so obvious challenges that you more experienced SCIers have been faced with as a component of age. Also "vjls" stated growing old with SCI brings financial concerns. What are some of the more creative ways out there to help with the financial burden beyond medicare, medicaid, private insurance, and Social Security. Are there funds available to help with expenses for SCI people?

      These are just some of the thoughts when growing older with SCI.

      Also I think it must be easier with a life partner of some kind. Be it a spouse, sibling, friend, or angel.

      Ya'll please keep the conversation going. Talk about this subject. Share your thoughts.

      L1 Complete - Injury 3/12/06 - Grateful to be alive!!!!


        Old SCI

        72 years old, will be 73 in August.

        Injured nine years ago, crashed motorcycle. T-6 para.

        Have active social life, mostly due to my wife/caregiver. Married nearly 50 years.

        Still drive my van, volunteer at VA hospital. Wood carving is my hobby.

        Body is beginning to feel my age, but that is expected and natural. From T-6 up, I'm in perfect health. just the normal aches in the morning.
        You C.A.N.
        Conquer Adversity Now


          Bill is going to be 63 in July. Injured May of '98 - so 12 years ago. If it weren't for his skin issues, having an ileostomy and wearing a leg bag 24/7 he is in otherwise good health ! We've been married 32 years holy toledo .

          ~ Be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandi

          " calling all Angels ...... calling all Angels ....walk me through this one .. don't leave me alone .... calling all Angels .... calling all Angels .... we're tryin' and we're hopin' cause we're not sure how ....... this .... goes ..."
          Jane Siberry


            I'm 61 and have been injured for 44 years come this July. I am in remarkably good health with the exception of shoulders that have turned to sawdust from overuse. That necessitated the switch from a manual chair to a power chair about ten years ago. I worked for over 30 years in a field I enjoyed and found meaning in as well. Aside from my shoulders and general pain from poor sitting posture for decades I would say I am doing very well.


              Dang, I'm just a baby. I'm 48, was injured at 24 - T5 complete.
              Please donate a dollar a day at
              Copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.



                I'm 28 years old, 25 years post injury as a C2/3 vent dependent quad. I hadn't heard of someone on a vent much longer than me until the post earlier in this thread.
                C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.


                  I have a friend who is C2/3, injured at age 17 and is now 59.


                    Don is 65. Will be 66 in October. T11 complete and 5 years post injury. He's doing great!


                      I am 58, c 3/4 inc, live alone (with my dogs) except 3-4 hours AM and 1.5 hours PM. Divorced 17 years, since injury. Own a home with a guest room at the other end of the house. I figure, worse case scenario, I will have a live-in. I will NOT have my children be my caregivers. They had to deal with too much as children, ages 4 and 5 at injury. I will NOT go to a nursing home. I am fortunate that, at the moment, I am able to make these choices. However, many a plan has been made... Maybe I'll just end up walking in the not too distant future, and that opens a whole new set of choices. : ]
                      Karen M
                      C 3/4 inc. central cord
                      10/29/1992 - 18 years, but who counts?


                        Listen to the incredible positive attitudes here. I LOVE IT!!!!!! If ATTITUDE isn't everything it is dang sure close to it!!!!!! Keep 'em coming ya'll. Man can you imagine the stories we could tell. It would make a phenomenal book!!!! One Day At A Time! That is how we do it, right????
                        L1 Complete - Injury 3/12/06 - Grateful to be alive!!!!


                          I was injured when I was 24 years old and I am now 52. I have often wondered the same question about our (SCI) life span. Doctors tell you one thing but when I was first injured they told me I would not even live when I was going into surgery. I was shot three times and one entered my back at T-5/6. I feel more aches and pains than I did when I was a young paraplegic but I am still kicking, sorta of speak!!


                            Yesterday made me hit 41yrs as a quad.


                              This documentation was posted on Answer Bag in June of 2010:
                              "My father, Frank Chesnick, is 80 years old and has a spinal cord injury that is 60 years old. My father was in a car accident while in the military and was hurt when he was just 21. He eventually regained enough movement to walk with a cane, but over the years reverted to 2 canes, then 2 Canadian crutches, then a walker, then wheelchair, and now for the past 6 years he's been in an electric wheelchair. Frank was originally from Dearborn, MI, and now resides in Canton, MI. BTW: When he was originally hurt the doctors only gave him 10 years to live and told he and my mother (who was an RN on the spinal injury ward at the VA hospital) that they would never have any children. So much for medicine! Still, there is essentially no medical data on quads who have been injured for a significant period of time."

                              All the best,


                                I would bet that the information sharing on sites like this could easily add 5 years to the average life expectancy of SCIs, if heeded. At the least, it should close the gap between the life expectancies of SCIs and AB folks.

                                From my research, SCIs can expect to live roughly 10-15% fewer years than the AB folks. And if AB folks live to roughly 75 years old, that translates to 7-10 fewer years. These are simply rough stats though. Everyone is on their own journey and hopefully will live long and prosperous lives SCI or not.

                                Good luck all!