This is where the staff of the Reeve Foundation is sharing up-to-the-minute information and putting some context around the news affecting the spinal cord injury and paralysis community. Not to mention insight into what's going on here at the Foundation.
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Reeve Foundation Intern Michael J. Thunell wrote this piece about Peter Judkins, an incredible young man who was adored by his family and friends and who sadly passed away in May 2010. We are honored and humbled to share Peter's story as a testament to the power of Thanksgiving, as we express our profound appreciation for the generous support that Peter's loved ones have shared in his memory to help others.
In July of 2010, a donation came to the Reeve Foundation in memory of Peter Judkins; however, the story behind this donation goes much further. Peter Judkins was one of eight siblings and always seemed to march to the beat of his own drum. Never content with the norm, Peter had a variety of jobs from drawing portraits of people on the beach, to working on a fishing boat and his personality was described by his sister Melissa as “Jack from the Titanic.”
In late 2009, Peter was living in Hawaii and went to the emergency room with pain in his back. He wound up having a seizure while in the hospital leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. It turned out that Peter had a bacterial infection named MRSA that cut off blood flow to his spinal cord and caused the seizure and paralysis. Hearing the news, Melissa was determined to bring Peter home to where he grew up to be with his family.
Through various fundraising efforts -- with donations received from across the United States -- as well as a website
dedicated to Peter and his recovery, the Judkins family did their best to get the funds to transfer Peter home. Despite their efforts and Peter’s fighting spirit, Peter’s health continued to deteriorate. In May of 2010, Melissa and the Judkins family used the money they raised to fly out to Peter to be with him during the final week of his life. The remaining funds were given to the Reeve Foundation in honor and memory of Peter Judkins.
The Reeve Foundation continues to search for a cure to spinal cord injury through extensive research, but that can only be accomplished with donations, all which have an incredible story waiting to be shared.
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