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Spinal Cord Injury


" Spinal cord injury (SCI) in children is a rare injury that can result in permanent loss of motor and sensory function, and dysfunction of the bowel and bladder. These injuries result in significant social and psychological consequences for the child and their family"                         The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne


Evander is now facing the prognosis of T5 paraplegia, due to spinal cord compression caused by the neuroblastoma tumour he was born with.  

Evander cannot move his legs spontaneously, but does have some good reflexes and motor responses to external stimulation. He does not seem to feel sensation. Evander has been participating in daily Locomotor Training for the past 5 months and has made great improvements in his trunk control, load bearing in supported standing and even taking steps in a suspension harness. (Visit Evander's facebook page to view his recent progress.)

We are working hard at rehabiliation to salvage or regenerate all possible nerves in the spinal cord. As bad as the scans may look of Evander's spinal cord, we believe that no one really knows what the possibilities of recovery are in a child so young.


What is Spinal Cord Injury?

Generally when people think of spinal cord injury they think of falls and car accidents. It’s not usual that you would associate spinal cord injury with babies and infants. But there is a small, rare group also affected by spinal cord injury.

Non-traumatic spinal cord injury can occur through infection, loss of blood supply, compression by a cancer.

The spinal cord consists of a complex bundle of nerves running from the brain to the base of the spine.

This acts as a telecommunications system between the brain and the body, thereby enabling the body to function properly.

These messages from the brain to the body are not only responsible for movement and control of muscles and organs, but also convey the sensation of pain, pleasure, touch, pressure as well as telling the body when all or part of it is hot or cold.

A damaged or severed spinal cord means the use of limbs below the level of injury is impossible, but also bowel and bladder control can be effected.

The impact of a SCI on someone’s life - and that of their family and friends - is devastating.


Links and further research 

Specific research looking at children with spinal cord injury.


Spinal Cord Injuries Australia