Spinal cord injuries are among the most well-publicized catastrophic injuries, thanks in part to the efforts of activists such as the late actor Christopher Reeve, himself a long-time survivor of a traumatic spinal injury. However, they are often misunderstood. Doctors themselves still have a great deal of questions surrounding spinal cord injuries – how they can be treated, what the long-term prognoses are like, and so on.
There are many resources available for those suffering from spinal cord injuries, especially in the cutting-edge Chicagoland area. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, for example, has a number of different types of treatments available for patients, even those for whom recovery from the effects of the spinal cord injury itself seems unlikely. Their website features the case of spinal cord injury patient Michele Lees, whose treatment years after her injury allowed her to experience a far greater amount of mobility than she had prior to the intensive course of therapy.
Another important avenue to look into is the question of whether or not legal recourse would be useful or necessary. Depending on how your injury occurred, you may be eligible for financial remuneration. It is probably worth consulting with an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer if you are at all curious. Many lawyers give free initial consultations. This is especially important as spinal cord injuries are often costly, even years after the fact. Many patients who have experienced spinal cord injuries develop chronic medical conditions, requiring ongoing treatment. In addition, while many of the mobility aids such as wheelchairs and other technologies available today are truly remarkable, allowing for a freedom and independence unimaginable even twenty years ago, they are also often costly. Insurance can be helpful, but insurance is also often complicated, and patients’ co-pays can be extreme. A lawsuit can be a good way to recoup some of these expenses.
There are a number of therapies and treatments available to those experiencing the lasting effects of spinal cord injuries. In addition, there is a lot of activism around ensuring that our world and society are accessible to people with disabilities. Some people argue that the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, passed in the 1990, may be the most effective and comprehensive civil rights legislation passed since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s secured equal rights for African Americans. However it compares to that monumental movement, it is important to remember that people have fought and are still fighting for people disabilities, including those incurred in the wake of spinal cord injuries. Implementation of many of the policies resulting from the ADA is still ongoing, especially those involving larger-scale construction projects.
In short, spinal cord injuries are a complex phenomenon, one that impacts a large number of people in the United States and the world at large. It is important to remember that, despite the enormous difficulties such injuries cause, many people living in the wake of such injuries live excellent lives. More and more possibilities are available to those facing spinal cord injuries, both in medical terms and after they’ve been released from medical care – and activists and doctors are continuing to make it a better world for those confronting this type of trauma.