On April 16, 2016 Sam Scribner, an otherwise healthy 22 year old active student and passionate surfer, suffered an accident leaving him with a broken C5 and ultimately paralyzed from the chest down. He was admitted to ORMC in Orlando, Florida and successfully had surgery the following Monday, April 18, where he received a cage-like contraption to stabilize his neck from C4-C6 but due to the intensity of the surgery, Sam was put on a ventilator to support his breathing for 29 days. He spent 18 days in the Neuro ICU and was then moved to the Trauma step down unit where he stayed for 20 days. On May 23 Sam began his work with the Orlando Health Rehabilitation team to chip away at his ultimate goal of one day walking. He has limited movement through his arms and no feeling or movement in his legs and he is extremely weak all over, but therapists are optimistic that his driven personality and contagious laugh will get him great results.
It has now been a year since Sam’s accident and so much has happened. He continues to progress each day in many different ways and while some days prove to be more challenging, he continues to push himself despite all obstacles. Sam attends multiple outpatient physical and occupational therapies throughout the week while also attending online classes towards a graphic design degree.
One of Sam’s greatest achievements has been growing strong enough to move from an all-electric wheelchair to a manual chair. While Sam is strong enough to support his body in the manual chair, he is still not physically fit enough to maneuver the chair full time. With Sam’s short-term goal being independence, the ability to be functional in a manual chair is a huge hurdle. Fundraising efforts at this year’s second annual #StepsForSamguy racing event will be towards something that will help to make life in a manual chair possible. E-Motion wheels are electrical wheel hubs that support the propelling movement where pushing and braking is realized as usual with the push rims. Most importantly, muscles and joints are relieved of stress while the body is trained. This technology is suitable for the majority of manual wheelchairs and will be added to Sam’s existing manual chair. While Sam’s life was drastically altered a year ago, he and his family have embraced the change and made the most of the hurdles that each day brings. Technology like E-Motion wheels may only be a minor addition, but anything to make his life even just a little easier is a huge victory.
As always, all donations are greatly appreciated and every little bit is something to help Sam through his journey to make a healthy recovery- even if that is just sending Sam some positive vibes for a healthy recovery