"It's a full-time job. It's every day, 24-7. You're always thinking about it, always you're number one priority."
That is how motocross star Pauly Plewa recently described living with and recovering from a spinal cord injury. The 19-year-old from Stoney Creek, Ontario, suffered a broken spine in 2012 while practising for the Arenacross World Championship race. He was told that he had less than a 2 per cent chance of regaining feeling below his chest. But his SCI story doesn't end there.
After his paralysing injury, Plewa began rehabilitation. Like others who live with SCI, he had to work extremely hard so that his nerves and muscles could relearn how to accept signals from his brain. In a recent CBC article, he said, "I would sit there until three or four in the morning, meditating and just forcing that signal to go down to my toe."
Plewa underwent surgery to have metal rods inserted in his back to fuse his vertebrae together, and after three years of rehabilitation, he is now able to walk and drive a car. Not only that, he plans to raise awareness around SCI by participating in the Wings for Life run, which is scheduled for May 3 in Niagara Falls. Though the average distance for the runners is 5 kilometres, Plewa said he hopes to run 10 kilometres alongside his 2-year-old husky.
The young man's recovery is truly remarkable, and his story is a powerful reminder of the difficulties faced by SCI survivors. For more on helping SCI patients get the support and medical care they need, please see Gluckstein Lawyers' spinal cord injury overview.
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