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Spinal Cord Injury Network - What They Say About Life After SCI?


In response to the needs of people with spinal cord injuries and their families, the Spinal Cord Injury Network International (SCINI) was established The Spinal Cord Injury Network International emerges to address these demands by providing resources and referrals to those who have suffered spinal cord injuries. The SCINI's founder and current leader, Lennice Ambrose, established it in 1986.

When her son Richard Madariaga got a T8 spinal cord injury in a car accident in 1985, he became a paraplegic. This changed everything for the whole family.

A Glimpse In Spinal Cord Injury Network

The home page of the Spinal Cord Injury Network International features a couple on a wheelcair
The home page of the Spinal Cord Injury Network International features a couple on a wheelcair

SCINI was founded in the home of the Ambrose/Madariaga family as a public-benefit corporation to address the needs of people who had suffered a spinal cord injury due to an accident. The number of people who have benefited from SCINI's services has skyrocketed over the past 30 years.

COPYRIGHT_SPINE: Published on https://spinal-injury.net/spinal-cord-injury-network/ by Dr. Bill Butcher on 2022-09-28T04:11:06.101Z

The mission of SCINI is to help people with spinal cord injuries live better by focusing on injury prevention, medical care, research, and enhancing their quality of life. The free services of the Network make it easier to go home after a stay in the hospital and get back into everyday life.

SCINI is a leader in helping people with spinal cord injuries get information, connect with each other, and get help. Through SCINI's Resource Center, you can get technical information about spinal cord injuries and diseases, disability issues, employment, accessibility, social benefits, resources, adaptive recreation, independent living, adapted equipment, travel, and much more.

SCINI - Life After Spinal Cord Injury

Most spinal cord injuries are caused by a sudden, hard blow to the back. Most of the time, this is caused by a car accident, a fall, a gunshot, or an injury from a sport. Sometimes, an infection, spinal stenosis, or a birth defect like spina bifida can damage the spinal cord.

Because the spinal cord has a delicate network of nerves that runs from the brain stem to the lower back, once it is affected, the person can't bring back the normal function of their body. And adjustments will now take place.

Rehabilitation (Rehab) begins after surgery and doctor consultation as soon as you are stable. The goal of rehab is to improve your ability to take care of yourself so that you can do well once you leave the facility.

Those who have recently sustained an injury are more likely to experience feelings of loss. The emotions felt during this time are very similar to those experienced after the death of a loved one. The key difference is that you're not just grieving the loss of your ability to walk or use your hands.

You're also mourning the loss of your sense of touch. After suffering an injury, you may go through a wide range of emotions. A few may seem extreme, while others are more subtle. Although there is no set timetable for grieving, it is normal to experience the following emotions and reactions after suffering an injury:

Denial Stage

At first, you might act as if nothing has happened to you despite the injury. It's possible that you won't be able to come to terms with the fact that your loss of feeling and movement is permanent. You might look at the injury more like a sickness, like a cold or the flu, that will go away in a short amount of time as time passes.

Sadness And Depression

Of course, no one wants to get hurt. It doesn't matter how badly you're hurt. People who get hurt often feel very sad because they have lost something important to them. Sadness is when you feel down or blue after something bad has happened. But sadness is not the same as depression.

Depression is a medical condition that needs to be taken care of by a doctor. You may be depressed if you feel very sad, don't do much, have trouble thinking and focusing, have a big change in your appetite and/or the amount of time you spend sleeping, and/or have feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or despair. If you are depressed, you might even think about ending your life.


When hurt, some people react with anger and resentment. It's possible that you'll lash out at people verbally and even consider resorting to physical violence. If your injury was caused by your own actions, you may be angry at yourself. Some even blame God or another person for what happened to you.

Life Changes Following A Spinal Cord Injury

Life Changes After a Spinal Cord Injury (Bulletproof: Ashley)

Adjustments After SCI

Grief usually ends when you learn to accept the way things really are and find meaning in your life. You start to think about your future as a person with SCI and make plans to achieve your goals.

Think About The Future Hope

Personal motivation is one of the most important parts of getting used to a spinal cord injury. People who have just been hurt often go to therapy because they want to get stronger and be able to do more.

You probably strongly believe that your paralysis is only temporary and that you will soon be able to move again. After getting hurt, people often feel this way. You can think about the following hopes for the future:

  • People will no longer suffer from disabilities or get sick. (Isaiah 35:5, 6)
  • The Bible even promises that "death will be no more." (Revelation 21:4.)

Set Realistic Goals

People who recover well from injuries are often driven to achieve their own goals. Everyone has different goals, and these goals often change over time. For instance, your goal today might be to get a job, and your goal for the future might be to have kids.

Research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) shows that people with SCI who have goals are less likely to be depressed and more likely to accept their disability than those who don't have goals.

Spinal Cord Injury Support Groups

The American Trauma Society: This network is dedicated in preventing trauma and improving trauma care.

Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center: This network is promoting the health and well-being of people who have suffered a spinal cord injury, mobility impairment, or paralysis by providing comprehensive information, resources, and referral services

Family Voices: All children and young people with special health care needs and/or disabilities will receive family-centered care in this network.

United Spinal Association: Since 1948, they have been at the forefront of improving the quality of life and opportunities for people with spinal cord injuries and diseases.

Office of Disability Employment Policy: A federal government agency within the United States Department of Labor that works to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to employment opportunities.

Spinal Cord Injury Information Network: The UAB-SCIMS strives to maintain and improve a cost-effective, all-inclusive service delivery system for people who have suffered a spinal cord injury.

Unite 2 Fight Paralysis: Through advocacy, education, and research support, they are working to unite and empower the international spinal cord injury community in order to cure paralysis.

People Also Ask

What Are The Top 3 Causes Of Spinal Cord Injuries?

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. Accidents involving automobiles or motorcycles are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for nearly half of all new spinal cord injuries each year. Aside from that, falls, acts of violence, sports, and recreational injuries, and diseases were the leading causes of spinal cord injuries.

What Are The 5 Signs Of A Spinal Injury?

  • Weakness in one or both arms or legs.
  • Sensation loss in the arms and/or legs.
  • Inability to control one's bladder or bowels.
  • Severe neck or back pain or pressure.
  • Strange lumps along the spine.
  • Difficulty breathing

What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With A Spinal Cord Injury?

A person aged 20 who suffers a high tetraplegia spinal injury and survives at least one year has a life expectancy of around 33.7 years. This number shows how long people with spinal cord injuries in the US can expect to live if they live at least one year after the injury.

Final Thoughts

Some things will always be different after a spinal cord injury, but you can still live a full and happy life. People who have damaged their spinal cords have a saying that goes, "You could do 10,000 things before you got hurt. Now you can do 9,000. So, are you going to worry about the 1,000 things you can't do, or will you focus on the 9,000 things you can do? "

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About The Authors

Dr. Bill Butcher

Dr. Bill Butcher - With more than two decades of experience, Dr. Bill Butcher aims to provide a repository for educational materials, sources of information, details of forthcoming events, and original articles related to the medical field and about health subjects that matter to you. His goal is to help make your life better, to help you find your way when faced with healthcare decisions, and to help you feel better about your health and that of your family. Bill received his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and spent his entire career helping people find the health and medical information, support, and services they need. His mission is to help millions of people feel fantastic by restoring them to optimal health.

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