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Woman sets out to help others recover from spinal cord injuries

When a person suffers an injury to their back or neck, it can have life-changing consequences. West Virginians who are living with spinal cord injuries might feel resigned to the idea that they will never be able to do many of the things that they once could. Through remarkable advances in technology and medicine, however, people in this situation should have more and more hope for their recovery.

One woman exemplifies the possibilities for recovery following a devastating spinal cord injury. The woman, now 27-years-old, cracked her skull and badly damaged her spinal cord 10 years ago while she was training for her high school diving team. Doctors operated on the then 17-year-old girl but cautioned her that she would never walk again.

Despite these doctors' prognoses, the girl refused to give up. She traveled to numerous different neurological facilities until one doctor offered her the hope she needed. With the help of innovative rehabilitation equipment, her parents' encouragement and sheer determination, the woman walked unassisted just six years after her diving accident.

The woman would eventually even walk down the aisle to marry her husband. The 27-year-old and her husband are now launching a website aimed at linking spinal cord injury victims, and people with other neurological problems, with available facilities and therapies. The founders are hopeful for the future of their website, which has already become a finalist for a $1 million investment prize from the Global Food and Health Innovation Challenge.

Stories like this offer new possibilities for people with debilitating spinal cord injuries. But, the costs of treatment and rehabilitation can be a difficult burden. If a victim suffers a spinal cord injury due to another person's negligence, they may be able to recover damages for medical expenses and long-term care.

As the inspirational woman in this case shows, anything is possible and accident victims should not disregard their chances for meaningful recovery.

Source: USA Today, "Formerly paralyzed athlete helps patients find care," Jamie McGee, Nov. 20, 2013

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