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NRN

A Real Halloween Scare

Justin
Justin can now stand after month of outpatient therapy

My name is Justin Blandford and I have a spinal cord injury. My accident occurred October 31, 2010. My injury is C6-C7 and I'm considered an incomplete injury. I was paralyzed and in a wheelchair on October 31, 2010 after I went to a Halloween party. I was driving home and lost control of my vehicle. I hit a ditch and was ejected out of the sunroof after. I was transported to the hospital.

After I got out of the ICU, I was in inpatient therapy at Frazier Rehab. At that time, I couldn't walk and had very limited hand function. While in inpatient therapy, I was learning how to do everyday tasks all over again. Something that was so simple to do before my injury, wasn't so simple anymore. I could hardly do anything for myself and constantly needed help from others. Toward the end of inpatient, I could just twitch my big toe on my right side. Once I saw that, it motivated me to keep pushing.

When inpatient was over and it was time to go home, everything changed. When you’re in inpatient, there are doors that open for you and nurses always around to assist you and to cheer you on; but back at home, the doors didn't open for me. There were places I couldn't go because I couldn't get through in a wheelchair.

I started outpatient therapy back at Frazier Rehab a few days after I got home. I was glad to be going back to therapy because I knew how important it was for me to try to get back on my feet. After months of outpatient therapy, I could stand for a little.

And the effort and progress hasn't stopped now. I can walk with a cane and very rarely use the wheelchair. It has been a long hard road from where I started. I've put in a lot of time and effort and have made some amazing progress. I don't plan to stop now.

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Learn all about how the Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) is developing and expanding access to activity-based therapies, resulting in improved health, quality of life, and function.

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders