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New injury to husband

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  • New injury to husband

    On Saturday, January 8, my husband was working on the furnace in the basement. While coming up the stair, he slipped and fell backwards down the stairs, hitting Hz head on the landing and sustaining a fracture of his c3 vertebra. Needless to say we are frantic about this. It is hard to get information, however we know that he is paralyzed and unable to breathe on his own. He is still in the ICU, and will be there a while longer until they think is is stable enough to move out.

    Our doctor, a family friend has been candid, however, and has not been encouraging, saying that these kinds of injuries likely result in permanent paralysis.

    I guess I am just looking for a kind word or some encouragement.

    Thanks in advance,


  • #2
    Jenna, my sincerest sympathies. You're in the very earliest stages of the injury, there's really no way to tell how much return of function/ sensation your husband will have. That will take a very long time to play out. Was he given methylprednisolone? Right now pneumonia and skin breakdown will be major issues to watch for.

    I'm sure KLD will chime in here, she's an expert on the various California spinal cord facilities. A regular ICU is not the best place to be.

    Good luck to you. It's a terrifying position to be in, and we're here to help.


    • #3
      I wish I had the right words for you, unfortunatly it's a long road traveled. I broke my c5/c6 vertebrae in Aug 2009 and still am learning new things as I go. The love of my wife and kids help me hang in there. Is he a complete or incomplete injury. Also this website is full of info never be afraid to ask any question no matter what it is. Good luck in his recovery process.


      • #4
        I'm sorry to hear of your husband's accident. My husband fell from a tree and fractured C 4, 5,6 and had injury to the C3 area of his spinal cord in 2008.
        He was 45 at the time.
        Unfortunately he is paralyzed from the shoulders down and has respiratory issues.
        We have good days and bad days, but we are grateful for each one.

        I have learned that there are no identical spinal cord injuries. It is too soon to know what will happen to your husband.
        Please let us know how things are going.


        • #5
          Jenna, sorry ya had to look for this site, but good ya found it early. The dr's will chime in here soon, it's awful, the way your life changes sooo quickly. This spot has good people and good responses, hope for you and your hubby, good luck.


          • #6
            I echo the others in saying how very sorry we are about your husband's accident and the unfortunate need for you to seek our advice. As Scraper1 has indicated it's very important that your husband obtain the best medical care from specialists who understands the urgency, and who also have the expertise in treating spinal cord injuries. This will give your husband every possible chance at the best outcome. Please surround yourself with supportive family and friends during through his difficult time. The forum SCI Nurses and Dr Young specialize in the area of SCI research and treatment. They soon will chime in to give you invaluable information and resources for your area. Many thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
            Last edited by Patty41; 01-18-2011, 01:18 AM.


            • #7
              Jenna, Sorry to hear about your husband. have found the right place. You will learn things that you never thought that you would know about spinal cord injuries and even more. This is a great place for information and comfort.

              Medical care is most important to his recovery along with you support and love. Take it one day at a time. It is a long road ahead for both of you - but you can do it together.


              • #8
                Good luck Jenna, it's far too early to say how much feeling and movement your husband will get back, I hope his Dr's are being overly pessimistic.


                • #9
                  Hi Jenna and welcome to the forum, where you will find a great deal of help.

                  The prognosis will depend on the "completeness" of the injury. Only time will tell. Treatment at a specialist unit is very important.
                  2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
                  Please join me and donate a dollar a day at and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.


                  • #10
                    Sorry to hear about your husband's accident, Jenna. You're probably beside yourself with worry, right now. I echo what others on this thread have said about getting specialized help early on, and only time will tell how much return (recovery) your husband will experience. Every case if different. If you have specific questions, don't be afraid to post them on this forum -- there are lots of very knowledgable and friendly people on here. All the best to you and your husband.


                    • #11
                      Jenna, where is your husband now? Does he have decent insurance? Is he by any chance a military veteran?

                      It will be critical to get him to the appropriate SCI specialty center ASAP. Please come back and let us know a little more, and meanwhile, do some reading in the articles by Dr. Wise Young which you can find on the left side-bar on our home page.

                      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


                      • #12

                        I sincerely hope your husband's injury is incomplete and he recovers a ton (there are such things as walking quads) but do know that life can still be good, even if he remains a high-level quad in need of breathing assistance.

                        I'm a C1-2 currently using a ventilator fulltime, though I'm scheduled for surgery on February 2nd to get a Diaphragm Pacing System (DPS) which could/should help improve my quality of life (here's a thread about it). That said, I believe my quality of life is already high. Before learning of CareCure years ago, I started my personal website to shed light on life as a high-level quad and vent user, since in 1997 (when I was injured) my family couldn't find much. I'll include my website info below with my typical email signature, which I use to try to demonstrate some of what is still possible.

                        Anyway, many SCI people here have encouraging stories, and many of the most pessimistic people now believe that function-restoring therapies will come to fruition, eventually (many believe by the year 2020 is realistic, if not sooner). So try to be positive and keep the faith that your husband & you can still have a good life. Sure, there will be differences and challenges, but life can still be good.

                        God bless!

                        Here's my typical email signature:

                        Bill Miller :-)
                        C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 221 High Bowling Game
                        Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
                        My blog:
                        Business website:
                        Personal website:
                        Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

                        I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.


                        • #13
                          My adult son had his accident in July 2010, c3-c5, and showed very little improvement the first month in the hospital. He had no feeling below nipples and couldn't move anything. It killed me that he couldn't even scratch his own itches. But after the second month when they were getting ready to release him from Rehab, he woke up one morning with feeling in his legs. Later that morning in therapy, he asked them to concentrate on his legs, and he could kick them forward. They were all AMAZED and I was in tears (happy tears of course). Since then, it has been slow but steady progress. They kept him in Rehab another 6 weeks. Six months later, he is living in an Adult Family Home but family works him out twice a day in addition to his out-patient therapies. And very recently he is standing, with help, in his out-patient rehab and can reach to his eyes and finally, scratch his own itches.

                          It has been heart-breaking to see all that he's had to endure, but there is always hope. My point in writing here is to convince you that it will get better, and don't ever stop believing that he can keep improving. No one knows what will be possible, and I have seen for myself that miracles are happening. Just keep being there for him and realize that there will be setbacks (son has been in hospital 3x for UTI's) but then just keep pushing forward. These situations totally suck, but its the hand we've been dealt, and this web site is amazing!!


                          • #14
                            Gerryskid -- it's always nice hearing about positive outcomes from SCI!

                            Thank you for sharing!

                            - Bill :-)
                            Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

                            I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.


                            • #15
                              I will echo the sincere care and understanding for the loss your husband and your family has sustained..we know it's a long hard road back, just know u have a group of friends here that care & want the best for your tribe..keep the faith.

                              '76 L4 GSW incomplete
                              (cauda equina)