Injuries to the spine are often among the most devastating non-fatal injuries we witness here at the Calgary personal injury law firm of Cuming & Gillespie. Even minor spinal injuries can cause significant limitations to mobility and chronic pain, and may require months or years of intensive rehabilitative therapy—and even then, a full recovery is not always possible. More severe spinal injuries can lead to paraplegia or quadriplegia—paralysis of the legs and lower body, or paralysis of all four limbs and the majority of the body.
Spinal injuries of any severity can come with many complications, both internally in terms of organ functioning and bodily control, and externally in terms of accommodations that must be made in order for spinal injury victims to regain as much self-sufficiency as possible. Simply leading a somewhat normal life following a paralyzing spinal injury is a heroic feat, and all Calgary spinal injury victims should know that their struggles, their effort, and their successes don’t go unnoticed.
Now, one Calgary man who has been quadriplegic for most of his adult life has gone far beyond the ordinary, going from a successful law career to becoming a Calgary MP in the most recent election.
Kent Hehr was only 21 when a bullet severed his spinal cord between the C4 and C5 vertebrae in the neck. For several days following the injury it was unknown whether or not he would even survive; when his life was no longer in danger, he and his family had to cope with the fact that he was no longer in control of his body from the neck down.
“The doctor was crystal clear that Kent would be a C4/5 quadriplegic, and she described his future condition—as he is today—right on,” said Judy, Kent’s mother. “I’ll never forget the words she said: ‘You can spend your whole life trying to find a cure, or you can get behind him 100%, and move his life forward.’
“At the time it was really difficult to hear that, but it was the best thing that doctor could have said to us.”
It was the best thing, because it encouraged Kent and his parents not to focus on what had been lost, but to make the most of what was left—Kent’s mind and spirit of optimism and confidence. His journey from one of the most severe spinal injuries to—shortly—Ottawa and Parliament is one that should inspire everyone in Calgary, and every victim of a spinal injury the world over.
Calgary Spinal Injury Victims Still Need Help
Of course, for every story like Kent Hehr’s there’s a tale of an injury victim who doesn’t have the same support system, and who must endure a life of great hardship through no fault of their own. If you or a family member has suffered a severe spinal injury and you would like to talk to a Calgary personal injury lawyer about your options, contact the offices of Cuming & Gillespie today for a free consultation.