During the accident Mary Catherine shattered her C6 vertebrae and a fracture to her L4 vertebrae and sustained a minor concussion. The C6 vertebrae is located in the neck area and the damage to this vertebrae impacted her spinal cord and caused sever swelling around her spinal cord. The damage to the spinal cord rendered Mary Catherine a quadriplegic where she could not move her hands or legs. She underwent a spinal fusion surgery at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, SC and after stabilizing from surgery and waiting for a place to become available she was transferred to the Shepherd Spinal Cord Center in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of July 2017. At the Shepherd Center her team of doctors, nurses, and therapists met her as she arrived. She was fitted for a wheelchair and the team began with their assessments of her condition. She also is attends school at the Shepherd Center so when she returns home she will not be behind where her class in their assignments. Upon arrival she was given an electric wheelchair to use. While at the Shepherd Center she has maintained rigorous physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and strength training programs. The programs have allowed her arms to strengthen and she is able to move her hands and fingers and do some tasks, but is still a long way from normal strength and dexterity. She has to use modified eating utensils, pens and pencils, hair brushes, and anything else that doesn’t have a thick handle to grip. On September 1, 2017 she moved her legs on her own for the first time since the accident. This one seemingly small event kicked off an entirely new rehab plan and physical and occupational therapists began working on her legs with the goal getting her up and walking. As of today she cannot walk or stand up on her legs, but she has not given up and has the determination to walk before she leaves the Shepherd Center to come back home to Florence. During this stay Stephanie has been by Mary Catherine’s side. She stay in the hospital room with her and is learning what is needed to take care of her once she is released from the hospital. This is a very trying time for the entire Rawlinson family, with Stephanie and Mary Catherine in Atlanta and Kevin recovering at a friend’s home, Ella is staying with Stephanie’s sister and her family. The family prays that they will be reunited again soon.
She has been given a discharge date of October 20, 2017 with the hope that she will transition directly into the Shepherd Center’s day program. The day program allows for Stephanie and Mary Catherine to stay in an apartment, which is part of the Shepherd Center, where Stephanie will care for Mary Catherine at night and each morning Mary Catherine will go to the hospital to continue her therapy. We are anticipating that Mary Catherine and Stephanie will be able to return home by Thanksgiving, where Mary Catherine will continue with outpatient therapy.
For Mary Catherine to return home the family has had and will have to purchase some specialized equipment not the least of which is a wheelchair. They must also replace their vehicle that was totaled in the accident with a car that Mary Catherine can transfer in and out, and modification to their house is required because the house has no downstairs bedroom or a full bathroom. The renovations are expected to cost between $50,000 to $75,000. The cost of Mary Catherine’s care at the Shepherd Center and the equipment that will be required for her care is estimated to be about $1.5 million and her medication will run approximately $2,000 per month not including a blood pressure medication to help keep her pressure up which runs $10,000 if it is still needed when she is discharged.
The family has many concerns the least of which are these expensive bills that are looming. They are asking for your prays and for you to prayfully consider donating to relieve some of the stress caused by the worrying about the financial impact so they can concentrate on helping Mary Catherine recover.
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