Like traumatic brain injuries, severe spinal cord injuries can have a devastating impact on a person's quality of life. Recently, a star high school wrestler suffered a severe spinal cord injury recently while wrestling for his high school in a tournament. He now faces rehabilitation and medical expenses as a result. The 17-year-old wrestler is one of the top-ranked wrestlers in his state for his weight class.
The 17-year-old boy was initially treated at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for a broken C5 and C6 vertebra. He suffered the injury when he charged his opponent in a recent match and ended up going headfirst into a wall.
The family says the boy tentatively is planning on the Shepherd Rehab Center for spinal rehabilitation in Atlanta.
The family is very appreciative of the community and the outpouring of support. Students have held prayer vigils and are wearing ribbons to raise awareness of the injury and the ongoing fundraising efforts. A group of students even raised $500 for the family.
Despite the severity of the injuries, coaches and school officials are confident that the injured boy will be able to walk again. According to his coaches and friends, the injured young man was a very physical and hard-working athlete and student. These efforts will be helpful for rehabilitation.
The family is facing mounting medical bills and expenses related to the spinal cord injury, not only for the initial emergency treatment but the ongoing rehabilitation.
The family is planning on Atlanta's Shepherd Center, which has been open since 1975 and is one of the top rehabilitation centers in the nation. The Shepherd Center takes a team approach to recovery and uses state-of-the-art medical machinery and therapy.
Source: Winston-Salem Journal, "Alleghany star wrestler suffers severe spinal cord injury," Mason Linker, Dec. 6, 2011