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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After an idyllic Fourth of July firework celebration in BlueRidge, Georgia on July 1, of 2011 the Johnson family's van was hit while at a complete stop by a truck going 70 mph. Six year old Hannah died, 3 year old Owen sustained a C3 injury, Kathryn (8) and Brooke (10) had numerous and severe orthopedic injuries.
Both parents, David and Susie had severe concussions and Susie in her second trimester of her pregnancy fractured all of her ribs. In the blink of an eye their lives changed forever.
(Photos by Susie Johnson: Hannah (near right), Johnson children July 2011 (far right) - Brooke, Owen, Kathryn, Hannah)
The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center and Information Specialist team have helped the family since the beginning. Grandpa Johnson sent an email looking for assistance and guidance on selecting a rehabilitation center. Our team called, sent emails as well as a new injury package.
Touched by the Johnson families story, as a team, the Information Specialists followed their Caring Bridge page. IS team members picked up when Owen was having autonomic dysreflexia and sent them our AD cards for children, to help educate their doctors. Additionally, after reading Susie Johnson's wish that Owen get off the vent, we mailed information about the diaphramatic pacing system (DPS) that would eventually result in Owen getting off the vent. Owen had the DPS implanted in April 2012 and has not used his vent since June 2012. When Owen started preschool, we brain stormed with his teacher for ideas to help him participate in class just like his peers. The Johnson family makes themselves available to anyone with questions about children and SCI, DPS and moving forward with life.
(Photo above by Sarah Robson-Suarez: Johnson family at Easter 2013 including daughter Renee)
Please watch the Johnson's story of hope, love and faith and how community and family support can make a world of difference.
Director, Information and Resource Services
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Paralysis Resource Center