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Fighting a spinal cord injury one step at a time

Because construction accidents often involve large machinery or heavy building materials, the injuries the accidents cause can be devastating. In cases of spinal cord injuries, the victim can be left paralyzed, unable to work or walk again.

Accident victims with injuries of these kinds often struggle afterwards with depression. So often it's so important for them to have supportive family and friends who will be there when they're down and help them fight to regain as much of their former physical abilities as possible with rehabilitation and other available treatments.

One young man who was injured in a swimming accident nearly three years ago knows how quickly funding for physical rehabilitation can dry up. After his accident, insurance paid for just three weeks of physical rehab before leaving him on his own.

Luckily for him, his family has the financial means to keep paying for expensive treatments and rehab efforts. But they realize few others share their good fortune.

That's why they have started a nonprofit organization that reaches out to help others get the chance to regain strength and capabilities.

The organization, named Walking With Anthony (named after the young man), helps fund the therapists and others needed to help accident injury victims continue their fights for freedom from paralysis.

Anthony continues his fight, too. On a recent day, strapped in a walker, he slowly made his way across a room.

He acknowledges that he still has a long way to go to achieve his goal of walking on his own again, but he holds tight to hope generated by each incremental triumph over his condition. The slow, arduous journey in the walker isn't a complete victory, "...but still, just putting my left foot forward -- looking down below and seeing that happen is relief and shows hope," he says.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Life Connected: Paralyzed but Determined to Walk, and to Help Others Too," Dec. 7, 2012

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