Success Stories

The International Center for Spinal Cord Injury offers more than just the hope of recovery from what was once thought to be an irreversible and life altering injury. Through the use of Activity Based Restorative Therapies (RT) great promise has been shown helping adults and children with chronic spinal cord injuries recover sensation, movement, independence, and overall improved quality of life even many months or years after an injury.

PFEIFFER WHITELEY   Transverse Myelitis

When Pfeiffer Whiteley was 8 months old, she developed a high fever and seemed to "flop over". At first, both the pediatrician and the doctor at the hospital said the same thing-it was just a virus that would resolve on its own. Later, after a battery of tests including MRIs, blood work, and a spinal tap, a neurologist told Whiteley the news in the early hours of the morning-Pfeiffer was paralyzed, a result of transverse myelitis, a rare neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. Read Full Story

KRYSTAL GRECO   Non-Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Krystal Greco had been an avid horseback rider since she was a small child. But one afternoon when she was 14, a searing pain in her back changed everything. Read Full Story

RODERICK BALL   Schwannomatosis

When Roderick Ball arrived at Kennedy Krieger in a wheelchair in December 2008, it had been months—maybe longer—since he’d really walked. But, nearly four months later, he left the Institute on his own two legs. Read Full Story

PATRICK RUMMERFIELD   Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Patrick Rummerfield lives a life that can only be deemed miraculous. A 1974 car accident left Pat with little hope of survival. Today, this triathlete, race car driver and motivational speaker spends each day ensuring that he makes the most of his body's renewed power. As the world's first fully functional spinal cord injury quadraplegic, Pat is living proof that with the right combination of quality medical care, intensive physical therapy and personal will, recovery from devastating injuries is possible. Read Full Story

SANTA MARIE WALLACE   Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Despite her disability, Santa Marie Wallace finished her BA in May 2011 and is currently pursuing her MA in Disability Policy while working part-time. Although her C3-C5 incomplete spinal cord injury and limitations of movement caused her body to be stiff as a board at first, her muscles are now being re-educated through activity-based restorative therapy at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury. Read Full Story

ERIN AND JADE BUCKLES   Non-Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Erin and Jade sit across from one another in their bedroom, giggling and playing. Dressed in bright pinks and yellows, they look like little mirror images of one another, with one exception. While Jade perches on the bed, Erin sits in a tiny pink wheelchair because she is paralyzed from the chest down. Read Full Story

LILY WILKINSON   Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Lily was just three when her neck was broken in an automobile accident. A moment of folding metal, and her new life appeared etched in stone before she had ever entered kindergarten. After months of intensive care, her parents were told she would never be able to use or feel her legs again. Read Full Story

MATT COURSON   Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Matt climbed on his four-wheeler to make the short trip to visit a friend. He never made it. He can't remember much about the ride, but he knows he went over a 20-foot embankment. When he came to after the crash, he couldn't move. Read Full Story

MARSHALL GARBER   Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

“Going into my treatment at Kennedy Krieger, I didn’t have an intention of forming a family there but in a way I did,” says 17-year-old Marshall Garber of his rehabilitation for a spinal cord injury at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Read Full Story

CARLA STEPPE   Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

A car ride home from a family vacation in Florida changed Carla Steppe's life forever. After being stabilized by a local hospital, she was transferred to Kennedy Krieger Institute, in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Through her therapy, she was able to finish high school, college, and secure a job as an architect, designing buildings for individuals with a range of physical challenges. Here, she tells her story in her own words. Read Full Story

JACK ORTEGREN   Transverse Myelitis

In a matter of days, Kirk and Jami Ortegren watched their son Jack go from crawling to being unable to move. Doctors diagnosed Jack with transverse myelitis. Although local doctors in Omaha gave Jack a grim progrnosis, new hope came when the Ortegren's found the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Read Full Story

MORGAN DUNNIGAN   Pylocytic Astrocytoma

When an uncanny twist of circumstances left Morgan Dunnigan paralyzed, doctors predicted her condition was permanent. With Kennedy Krieger’s help she proved them wrong. Read Full Story

MACKENZIE CLARE   Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

MacKenzie was just ten years old and looking forward to a day of fun at Port Discovery in Baltimore with her parents and two friends on April 2, 2005. That rainy day took a different turn when a pick-up truck traveling on the opposite side of the highway lost control and veered into their lane, hitting their car, and injuring all five occupants. Read Full Story

VAN BROOKS   Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

"I remember everything," Brooks said the other day. "I remember making the tackle. I remember laying there and not being able to feel anything. I remember talking to the trainer, who was asking me different questions. I remember getting into an ambulance. They cut all my equipment off, then they waited for the MedEvac [medical helicopter] to come. They transferred me to the MedEvac. I remember the ride down to Shock Trauma, but once I landed at Shock Trauma, I don’t remember anything." Read Full Story

LORETTA McRAE   Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

In the months since the 15-year-old struck her head on an ocean sandbar in Australia, sustaining a C6-level spinal cord injury, virtually every expert said she's already gotten her miracle. She was alive, she could wiggle her toes, she was regaing sensation in her limbs. But she would probably need to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Read Full Story