Friday, February 13, 2009

You go, Chris McCulloh!

I've written several times about my 29 year old cousin Chris McCulloh, who was a few months shy of entering Case Western Reserve medical school when, in January 2008, he fell at home and got a C6-C7 subluxation. (As I understand it, a disc between two neck vertebrae popped out of place and severely scrunched the spinal cord, causing total paralysis from there down. I imagine that's imprecise but you get the idea.)

Like me with my CaringBridge journal, he started a blog. Like me, he's posted anatomically cringe-worthy images of his injury.

The man has battled back phenomenally. At first it was not certain he'd ever stand, let alone walk. It was big news in May when he moved his left big toe, and a few days later I like to kick people. (Attitude runs in the family!)

Started standing (flotation-assisted) in the pool in August, first steps in September, back on the ice playing paralympic hockey in November.

Now, in today's post, I find out the guy's been out traveling, solo – no traveling companion, got himself to Amtrak and to DC and to the hotel to attend his conference. And, of course, he gripes (as I did when I used scooters and walkers) about idiotic "accessible" facilities that clearly were never even tried by anyone in a wheelchair. You go, cuz. :)

Next weekend he takes his first plane trip, to Cleveland, to resume his medical school career where he left off.

Holy cow. He's a monster.

Read it.


  1. Thanks, cousin! You know, one of the physiatrists at Sinai who is deeply involved in medical education makes his students all spend at least one full day in a wheelchair, so they can get just the slightest idea of how little complications can become a big problem. More people should do that. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the show 30 Days, but in one episode, former NFL player Ray Crockett spent a full month in a wheelchair. It was quite a good episode to see, and would be educational for anybody who has to handle situations involving the disabled.

  2. During the months when my broken leg was healing and I commuted using a dismantlable mobility scooter, I learned the reality of curb cuts. (Unlike you, I'm not strong enough to wheelchair myself up over a curb, scooters for me!)

    The curb cut at my office was 3/4" from street level. I needed to get a good enough start running at the thing.


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