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Prospects Brighten for Calgary Spinal Injury Victim

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
November 4, 2015

A New Zealander who came to Calgary as a specialized welder and ski instructor was practicing ski tricks at a Calgary-area gym when an accident occurred. Instead of landing safely on the trampoline he was using, the victim caused severe damage to his spinal cord between the C5 and C6 cervical nerves, and was rushed to hospital where he underwent major surgery.

As with many spinal injuries in the Calgary area, the victim’s prognosis is not yet known; he is almost certainly going to survive the ordeal, and will likely be partially paralyzed—possibly from the neck down (a condition known as quadriplegia), though some have suggested he may regain use of his arms at least enough to use a manual wheelchair. Several family members have rushed to Calgary to be with him at Foothills Medical Centre, and all await more definitive answers as to his eventual outcome.

What is known for certain is this: his friends and family, the nation of New Zealand, and the Calgary community have stepped up to help this intrepid traveler.

Calgary Helps Crowdfund Spinal Injury Expenses

Most of the victim’s direct medical costs will be covered due to his residency and employment status here in Calgary, but there’s a lot more that spinal injury victims have to deal with in practical terms (Cuming & Gillespie actually partnered with Foothills Hospital to fund the Brain Injury Patient Experience Program, which also assists victims of spinal injuries, due to the special nature of these injuries and their often life-long effects). In addition to the medical, emotional, and psychological ordeals that those who suffer serious spinal injuries must contend with, the financial burden can often be extreme.

When it comes to the injured Kiwi who was here to work and live in Calgary, supporters have already raised more than $20,000 to help with expenses, including his family members’ flights, their living expenses here in Calgary, the motorized wheelchair it is expected he will eventually need, and more. Should this spinal injury cause lifelong paralysis, as is unfortunately expected in this case, the injury victim will need to make substantial changes to his home, and take other steps to give himself the best chance at a normal and self-sufficient life. The amount of money people from all over the world—including many Calgary residents—have donated towards this cause is truly heartwarming.

Legal Help for Calgary Spinal Injury Victims is Also Available 

The investigation into this incident is ongoing, and the gym in which the injury took place is actively helping to determine what, if anything, contributed to the accident. Current reports do not mention the malfunctioning of any equipment, and the gym itself states that this is the first serious injury to occur on their premises during their 25 years of doing business. Whether or not a personal injury lawsuit would be viable in this case remains to be seen.

Many times, however, spinal injuries in Calgary are the result of blatant negligence or recklessness, including lack of proper safety equipment where dangerous activities are taking place. When this is the case, partnering with a compassionate Calgary personal injury law firm is in the accident victim’s best interest. If your or a family member has suffered a serious spinal injury in or around the Greater Calgary Area, we urge you to contact us today.

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