Our First #HHLChat: New Technology Improving Outlook for People Living with a Spinal Cord Injury

At the end of May we hosted our first live Twitter chat and it was a great experience! Partnering with Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, we held a fun, informative conversation about the various challenges associated with rehabilitation following a spinal cord injury (SCI). Joining us in the conversation was Mary Schmidt Read, PT, DPT, MS, SCI Program Director and Research Coordinator for Magee, which is one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. Mary has served as a physical therapist, administrator and a researcher for more than 30 years.

For a full annotated transcript of our Twitter chat with Magee Rehabilitation Hospital visit our Storify page.

We began our discussion with an overview of just how emotionally, physically and financially overwhelming SCI can be on families and communities. Mary shared her insight on the short and long term goals of SCI rehab, and we shared how HelpHOPELive can help families raise funds so they can afford the programs necessary to reach these goals. Mary talked about the differences between physical and vocational rehabilitation, and how important exercise-based physical rehab is to promoting neurorecovery and regaining balance and strength. Exercise-based rehabilitation was the #1 expense we helped catastrophic injury patients with through our fundraising campaigns in 2012.

Mary went on to talk about the SCI treatment team and noted that Magee is one of only 14 federally-designated “model systems” of care for SCI patients. Some patients need to travel long distances to get the care that they need, and HelpHOPELive can help cover those transportation and relocation costs. Finally, we looked at some of the new treatments and ground-breaking technologies that have the potential to drastically improve the outlook for many SCI patients, including Locomotor Training, electrical stimulation, and even practical applications for mainstream consumer technology like iPhones and Google Glass.

We’d like to thank Mary and Magee for their participation in this chat. You can learn more about Magee by visiting their website.

By the end of this chat, it was clear there are many significant expenses related to rehabilitation following SCI and that insurance may not cover all of them. At HelpHOPELive, we’re dedicated to helping people living with a catastrophic injury raise funds to afford the treatments and services they need. If you’d like to help support us in this mission, you can donate directly to our “Wherever the Need is Greatest” fund, and we’ll distribute your contributions to those who need it the most.

We look forward to hosting more live Twitter chats in the future on a variety of topics, so if you’ve got anything you’d like to talk about, just let us know at @HelpHOPELiveorg!

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