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Teen Graduates After Suffering Spinal Cord Injury

A college senior who spent three weeks in a coma following a car accident proudly walked across the stage last week to receive her high school diploma. Caytie Gascoigne, 17, was driving her car to her after school job in December when she was hit head-on by an SUV that left her with severe injuries.

Caytie suffered a serious traumatic brain injury, a broken back, neck, pelvis, legs, and fractured sternum. She was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and placed in an induced coma for three weeks. When she was awoken, she found that she could not walk. Determined to walk at her high school graduation, Caytie has gone from needing a wheelchair, to a walker, to being able to walk on her own without even a limp.

“The recovery process has definitely been long and just grueling and painful. I just always look at it as ‘I will get better. I can’t stop trying.'” This week, Caytie accomplished her goal by walking across the stage to receive her diploma with a standing ovation from her family and friends. Her principal told the media that Caytie has been an inspiration to the school and community for her strength and recovery.

“Basically, it was a miracle, I remember driving to hospital the night it happened, and I met with her mom and dad. Seeing where she was that day, how she’s progressed to what she’s done now is unbelievable.”

Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury occurs when there is any damage to the spinal cord that blocks communication between the brain and the body. It can happen anywhere along the spinal cord, from the neck to the lower back. After a spinal cord injury, a person’s sensory, motor, and reflex messages may not be able to get between the extremities and the brain. Typically, the higher the spinal cord injury occurs, the more severe the injury to the victim.

The severity of a spinal cord injury is typically referred to as the “completeness” of the injury. A complete spinal cord injury means that there is little to no sensory or motor function below the injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury means that there is some motor or sensory function below the injured area. There are various levels of an incomplete spinal cord injury.

Other common signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury can also include:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Exaggerated reflex activities
  • Changes in sexual function or activity
  • Pain or intense stinging sensation in the limbs
  • Difficulty breathing or coughing
  • Extreme back pain or pressure
  • Weakness, incoordination, or paralysis in part of the body

Call a Nashville Attorney Today

If you or someone that you know has been injured in an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury in the Nashville area, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Calhoun Law, PLC are here to help. Reach out to us today for an initial consultation and to begin working on your case immediately.

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