“He suffered a spinal cord injury following a car accident as a toddler”
Carter was in a car accident when he was only 18 months old. He sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) and Brown-Séquard syndrome, a rare spinal disorder that results from an injury to one side of the spinal cord in which it is damaged but not severed completely. Carter’s SCI affected the cervical nerves at the top part of his spine.
The higher the injury on the spinal cord, the more dysfunction can occur. Now 7 years old, Carter has the following medical conditions as a result of the accident:
- R-shoulder subluxation – a partial dislocation of the shoulder joint, which may be associated with pain and or dead arm sensation
- Scoliosis – abnormal sideways curvature of the spine
- Bilateral hip dysplasia – deformation or misalignment of both hip joints
- Impaired gait pattern – deviation from normal walking
- Decreased right lower extremity strength – weakness in lower extremities
Receiving treatment since he was a toddler, Carter has had a spinal fusion, a surgery designed to help limit pain caused by the joints. He also had a G-tube placement to deliver nutrition directly to his stomach. Paralysis on the same side as that of the injury often occurs and leads to spasticity, a side effect that varies from mild muscle stiffness to severe uncontrollable leg movement. Carter undergoes regular Botox injections for focal spasticity and for reducing disability. He attends outpatient physical therapy twice a week as well.
Despite Carter’s many injuries, he walks into each physical therapy session with a smile on his face. Carter’s strong work ethic does not go unnoticed by the staff at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital either. His nominating Child Life specialist said they were all “so excited to reward [Carter for being] a hero!”
It is with great pleasure that we honor Carter’s perseverance and determination by recognizing him as Kid’s Wish Network’s along with Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital’s Hero of the Month. Way to go, Carter!