Walking with Anthony

SPINAL CORD INJURY AWARENESS MONTH

INTRODUCING SCI HEROES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

This September, we aim to raise SCI awareness by sharing 30 different stories from 30 individuals with SCI, highlighting their tragedies and triumphs each day on our social channels and website. Walking With Anthony receives thousands of grant applications every year from individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in desperate need of help. Each story has the same underlying theme: these brave heroes need mental, physical, and financial guidance and support. 

SCI HERO

Jackson John

My name is Laurie Lafferty-John. On September 5th, 2020 my 27 year old son Jackson was involved in a bad car accident causing an incomplete spinal cord injury with a jump fracture at C6-7 resulting in severe quadriplegia.

His care was given at ECMC (Erie County Medical Center) in Buffalo, NY. His initial spinal surgery involved fusion of C4-T1. In 10 days, he was moved to the Medical Rehabilitation Unit receiving intensive OT/PT sessions. At this point, he already had developed a pressure wound on his coccyx area. After a few weeks he began to have voluntary muscle firing in his upper legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, adductor, and abductor muscles) while on the Moveio table doing assisted squats. Other voluntary movements were noted while on the mat table such as toe movements by the physiatrists Dr. Mark Levy at Erie County Medical Center.

Unfortunately, after working so incredibly hard, around the 5th week he began to have neck pain. The radiology reports showed that his hardware was beginning to come loose and the orthopedic surgeon needed to go in and fuse from C2-T1 and add rods on each side of his spine. This surgery left him with no or little muscle firing and voluntary toe movements. This was so devastating . He was living the nightmare all over again. Jackson fell into a very deep depression and his pressure wound was no a stage 4.

He then was readmitted to the Intensive Rehab floor at ECMC staying 3 weeks. His entire hospital stay as during COVID- which brought restricting visitors and really made things so hard for him emotionally. He begged to come home and on November 18th, 2020 we brought him home. We were thankful to have friends and family they helped get a downstairs room ready and to repurpose our mudroom into a shower room and we were able to build a ramp to get him into our home.

He has worked through in home OT/PT therapy, out patient therapy and is now seeking intensive therapy with dedication to get Jackson the training he needs to regain more function. A year ago, his tone in his legs were almost non-existent. When I would perform his ROM exercises several times a day his legs were very noodle like. We have noticed an improved tone and some voluntary movement in his legs while he is in the pool.

Jackson has 2 other brothers, who built him a mat table, and as a family of welders they built him a hydraulic standing table as well. Jackson had a FES bike gifted to him by a fellow teacher that I work with and this has helped tremendously in Jackson not losing muscle tone and has eliminated a great deal of atrophy. He also uses it on his hands and abdominals as well.

Jackson is an extremely big hearted, handsome young man. A very talented athlete (football, basketball and lacrosse) he is a very competitive person. My hopes is that he would get involved in some adapted sports. HE is really struggling with getting back into the social aspect of life. he does not want to go out in public and my fear is that will get worse as time passes. I am thankful for the friends who still stop by and spend time and that he has 2 brothers who do a lot with him. He was employed as a Union Carpenter at the time of his accident. Many of his superiors have discussed how incredibly talented and hardworking he is. His superiors have noted outstanding his leadership and his visionary capabilities. He has a real knack working with his hands, which unfortunately are not moving that well currently.

Jackson has very limited fine motor skills. He does have the capability to transfer, which we thank God for each day. He doesn’t have much sensation below his chest. He can feel deep touch more than light touch. He does mention that has improved a little bit.

He loves to cook (great cook BTW), ride the side by side with his brother, and has 2 nieces that live next to us and they are his inspiration to live and to find a way to get better. He loves boating and skiing, fishing and hunting.

This had certainly been the biggest challenge of our lives. We are hopeful that there are rehabilitative therapies that can help Jackson experience a higher quality of life and possibly regain function. We give thanks for all of the blessings given to Jackson thus far and pray each day for the ones lying ahead of him.

Thank you changing the lives of thousands of SCI patients and their families as well.

Sincerely,
Laurie Lafferty-John

PLEASE SHARE THIS STORY BY CLICKING THE BUTTONS ABOVE!

More SCI Heroes

Please share these stories during the month of September to help us raise awareness for spinal cord injury:

Rhonda Williams
SCI Heroes

Rhonda Williams

I am a C5 C6 quadriplegic who had a car accident when I was 16 in 1989 in Virginia. Through the many years of living as a quadriplegic I have had ebbs and flows. I met my husband while living in...

David Wieselmann
SCI Heroes

David Wieselmann

I was Mt. Biking with friends up in Vermont after work. We were cutting down a hill at the very end of run, and my front wheel sunk in some soft dirt. I went over the handlebars and did a...

Stephanie Nichols-Rodas
SCI Heroes

Stephanie Nichols-Rodas

I had a car accident May 6th,2017, early in the morning on my way to work. Another car was going to hit me, so I swerved and hit a concrete median while merging on to the freeway. I flipped 3...

Eden Hoelscher
SCI Heroes

Eden Hoelscher

On December 23, 2015, our five-year-old daughter, Eden, collapsed on the ground after doing a backbend on our living room floor. Within 30 minutes, she was paralyzed from the waist down. She was...

Rebecca Koltun
SCI Heroes

Rebecca Koltun

On March 13, 2021, I was skiing with some friends in Vermont. While I do not recall the day itself, I was told that I had a very bad fall. I woke up in a hospital in New Hampshire, paralyzed from...

Rob Balucas
SCI Heroes

Rob Balucas

hey, i’m rob This part of my story starts in 2015. That year was a shaping up to be a breakout year for my business and me. My business, a boutique creative agency, was on track to grow by 12%...

Stevie VanAusdale
SCI Heroes

Stevie VanAusdale

I was in a car accident the summer going into my junior year of high school. I was with 4 friends. We made the poor choice of throwing water bottles at other cars, which caused one car to chase...

Casey Ellin
SCI Heroes

Casey Ellin

On June 1st, 2013, when Casey was only 26 years old, he had an accident at Jones Beach that forever changed his life. After diving into the ocean, he fractured his C4 – C6 vertebrae, leaving him...

Michael Kim
SCI Heroes

Michael Kim

38 years old father of two young children, PARALYZED. This fund is set up for Mike's family during a time of incredible heartache, to help them navigate a long road of recovery and treatment....

Anne Nelson
SCI Heroes

Anne Nelson

I was a passenger in a car accident. After emergency personnel rescued me from the car I was taken to Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, AL where emergency surgery was done to stabilize my spine....

TELL US YOUR STORY

DISCLAIMER:

Walking With Anthony receives thousands of grant applications every year from individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in desperate need of help. Although we are not able to directly support every individual, for your participation you will receive valuable resources regarding mentorship, mental health, community, advice, and education to help you on your SCI journey. 30 stories will be chosen to share on social media, and those individuals will also receive $200 of wellness supplements to aid in their recovery.

Tell Us Your Story

Contact Information

Contact Person:
Contact Person:
Contact First Name
Contact Last Name

Applicant Information

Injured Person:
Injured Person:
First Name
Last Name

Injury Information

Hospital Information

Your Story

Do you consent to share your story with others to raise SCI awareness?

Social Media Profiles & Links

How can we help?

In which areas do you need the most assistance?
Maximum upload size: 268.44MB

How We Help

People Living with Paralysis
First Average Cost
Our Mission
Where Money Goes

Pin It on Pinterest