Success Stories Archive

Erin and Jade: Non-Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Imagine having not one, but two children with spinal cord injuries. For the Buckles family of Northern Virginia, this is their reality.

Pfeiffer: Transverse Myelitis

When Pfeiffer Whiteley was 8 months old, she developed a high fever and seemed to "flop over". A battery of tests, a neurologist told Whiteley the news-Pfeiffer was paralyzed, a result of transverse myelitis.

Krystal: 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.

Debbie: Multiple Sclerosis

For years, Debbie Melnick led an active life, despite having multiple sclerosis. But in 2013, when Melnick was seven months pregnant, she caught the flu. That's when the spasticity began.

Roderick: 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.

Morgan: 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.

Santa Marie: Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Despite her disability, Santa Marie Wallace finished her BA and is pursuing her MA in Disability Policy while working part-time. Although her C3-C5 incomplete injury and limitations of movement caused her body to be stiff at first, her muscles are now being re-educated

Lily: Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Lily was just three when her neck was broken in an automobile accident. After months of intensive care, her parents were told she would never be able to use or feel her legs again. 

Matt: 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.

Carla: Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

A car ride home from a family vacation in Florida changed Carla Steppe's life forever. 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.

Jack: 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.

Van: 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.

UPDATE: Once an injured football start, now a community leader

Loretta: 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 regaining sensation in her limbs. But she would probably need to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

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