Barbara: A real Cure Girl

A few days ago, Barbara published this post about her 30th anniversary of her life on a wheelchair. Read it carefully and maybe you will understand why we are struggling so hard for a cure.

Cure Girl Loredana

Barbara

When I was 12 years old I had already passed my first anniversary in my wheelchair and I couldn’t imagine there would be 29 more. Probably no one imagined that, perhaps the doctors neither, the first white coats I met during these long 30 years said: “There is currently no cure for spinal cord injury, but science may bring promising news in the near future.”

I guess that more or less this was the refrain of many doctors at the end of the Eighties, maybe even my parents were told this. Today, we can say that science has made important discoveries, sometimes even extraordinary. But it’s not enough. Unfortunately, there are so many protagonists involved in a spinal cord injury, and each one has a precise role and is connected to another only in a certain way. To restore all the connections, and thus to make the signals pass through the spinal cord again, every single role needs to be restored. When I was admitted to Montecatone Rehabilitation Hospital, in Imola, Italy, (October 1987), a doctor told my father: “Cases like your daughter, twenty years ago would have been deadly. Today at least we can make people live”. Of course the quality of life is different depending on the type of injury and the severity of paralysis, even if we talk about a pathology that doesn’t result only in paralysis. I can’t describe details in a post, but you can find all the information you need on internet, if you are interested. Here is an example that is worth any reference book. If you are really unlucky, an injury may involve the highest part of the spine.

In the first three cervical vertebrae paralysis involves all four limbs, in addition to the muscles for breathing. You are dependent on a mechanical ventilator as well as for all the activities of daily living. This has happened to Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman. He fell from horseback in 1995 and sustained an injury at the first cervical vertebra. Immediately he became a spokesman for all people with sci, struggling to get funds for a cure. In an interview years ago he said: “I want to toast my 50th birthday on my legs!” He celebrated his 50th birthday, but not on his legs, and he was not allowed to postpone for his 60th. He died at 52, nine years after his injury, because of a heart attack, resulting in complications of a pressure sore. And this is one of the “invisible” consequences of a spinal cord injury. Maybe you’re wondering why I talked about Superman in a post on the anniversary of my injury. Because I was one step from his own destiny. Because, although I have a serious motor deficiency, I think there are other thousands of people who would give their soul even just to breathe without that pipe in their throat all day. And this could be possible only if there was a cure. That’s why struggling to support scientific research seems to me the most obvious thing to do. Of course, I am aware that I probably won’t be here anymore when a definitive cure will be found, a cure that makes paralysis due to spinal injuries reversible. But I prefer to help leaving to the next generation a world where those who sustain a spinal cord injury could hear these words: “Don’t worry, now there is a cure and you will walk again soon”.

#nomorepermanentparalysis #curegirls #supportresearch #spinalresearch #wingsforlife #marinaromolionlus

Cure Girl Barbara

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