A Broken Neck Story

I broke my neck in a boating accident. I dived off this boat not realizing that the water was way too shallow. It was only about 3-4 feet deep. I fractured my Cervical 6Th vertebrae. I remember hitting the ground with my head first. I saw a bright light and many little stars. Its true when some sustains a huge blow to the head you do see stars like in the cartoons. Lol I went unconscious in the water. No one in my group noticed that had happened. I was floating down the river, face down when some young kid in the next camp over saw me and swam as fast as he could to catch up to me. I brought me to the side of the lake without moving me and holding me into position so that I would not get up. I have no idea who this kid was, no one got his name or number. He was my angel. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Shortly the ambulance came and I was airlifted to the nearest trauma hospital in Los Vegas. When I got there they immediately gave me an MRI when it was found that I had a C 6 fracture. I was to go into surgery the next morning. The Doctor who happens to be one of Vegas’ finest Nuero surgeons told me that he would have to make a small incision through the front of my neck as well as the back. He would the fuse C5, C6 & C7 together (the bones in my spine neck area would be fused). Before surgery I was able to move both feet and arms - but suffered nerve damage in both hands - more so in the right hand then the left. Per the doctor the surgery went really well and he said that I was very lucky. I was in the hospital for 1 week and I did even walk around a little in the hospital while I was there. It’s has been a long long recovery. May 2009 will be 2 years. I feel allot better however i am still recovering emotionally and mentally over this traumatic experience. Physically I am doing well. Probably about 90% there. The month I was home my sister had to help me do almost everything. I could not even really change my clothes on my own. I have been really positive through out this whole thing. You have to be. You have to have family who supports you too.  Many times I did not want to be here anymore. I am happy i didn't make a stupid mistake. I happy to be here. I am grateful for everything i have!! I would love to meet people who have gone through the same type of thing.


LOVE Starsinthesky

starsinthesky starsinthesky
13 Responses Dec 17, 2008

Please join our support group on facebook. Its called Spinal Cord Injuries, Surgeries & Diseases Support Group. Just go to fb search and enter that eaxactly and it will pop up. There are several groups but we are a new group and need folks who have experience with spinal problems. Thanks

Hello there. Yesterday I received a call from my older brother that our younger brother is in the hospital with the same incident as yours. I'm currently in the airport going to him. While searching for information about his case and medical treatments, I found you. I am really scared. My brother just turned 21 four days ago and I know he is scared too. My older brother and I are only family he has in the states. I hope I can be like your sister and be a good help to him. Please pray for me and my brother. Thank you for sharing your experience.

I was in a car accident and burst fractured my c7. they took the whole thing out and fused a prosthesis to the vertebrae above and below it. this happened in early august and i'm a couple weeks out of my c collar now. my shoulders are often sore and my neck hurts too when i try to extend it too far forward or back, but side to side hasn't been affected. i also had a minor SCI mostly confined to my right arm, but have recovered from it

After at least three whiplash accidents and hitting my head on more door frames than I can count,I'm 6'8" tall I finaly found the right Dr. who did an MRI. After the MRI on a fri. the Dr. tells me he wants me in the hospital by Tuesday,I had three discs compressing my spinal cord. Wanting to stay out of a wheel chair and breathing on my own I agreed to surgery,after removing three discs and fusing 4,5,6 and 7 I'm on my way too recovering. I still have nerve damage with my hands and drop things alot. I have pain in my neck and shoulders and have terrible tension headachs but atleast I'm upright and moble. I used to make fun of people who said it's going too rain because my knee aches. The cold front came in last night and I'm in so much pain I can't stand it.

I went through something strikingly similar. I was in the back seat of a car. In the middle no seat belt. 20 yrs old at the time. There was a freind to one side and a baby in a car seat on the other. The baby died taking the most damage from it. I took the remainder of the damage. The remaining people in the car were left with scrapes and bruises. We were waiting in the intersection to turn left when a guy, a teacher at that intentionally ran a red light to get home from a teachers convention faster. My injuries were 6 broken ribs, which impaled my left lung and spleen. Had bruised kedneys and liver. 7 fractures to my pelvic bone. My left eyelid, cheek, shoulder, arm and knee all ripped open. Doctors told my family I wasnt going to make it but they had done all that they could. They did well. However after learning to walk again and all the rehab for almost 2 yrs I still had yrs of mental healing to overcome. But I managed to get back to work and living. After the third yr it was discovered that I also had diaphramic hernias caused from the whole ordeal. I had surgery to repair them. Which failed and I still cope with to this day. About 5 yrs after the accident I had finally went to a chiropractor for the troubling pain in my neck. Found out then that my neck had been broken as well and since then had fused together on its own and that was the cause of the neck issues. Thankfull to be alive today and raising the kids id otherwise never had had. But I have no insurance and none is even offered to me at work if I could even afford it. I live everyday in pain from one thing or another and some days many things. Most days my neck is the big issue. It feels as if the nerves in and running through my neck are damaged in some way as well, causing many different things to feel off. Headaches, sore stiff neck, twitching, dizziness...to name a few. Last yr, now 11yrs after finding out about my neck I spent something over 5 grand to try and find a resolution to just my neck issue. Test after test and sent here and there and still have no answers. Any ideas?

I read your story and found it very interesting. I was in a car accident 8 months ago. I fractured my c6 &7 dislocated shoulder , 4 broken ribs 3 went through my lungs , spleen ( which they were able to fix) and head injury. To top it off I got staff infection, which they had to go back in my neck and scrape out dead bone and tissue. I had a pic line in for 8 weeks, it was hell. I was so sick. Talk about not wanting to live. I had, had enough. I m getting better. My shoulder is the worse for pain right now, they never fixed it, they said they were more concerned about my neck. Some days the pain is very bad. And others not so bad I can get a lot done. I am not a person to sit around, and feel sorry for my self, but their are days. Some days I think of the guy that hitting us, he went through a stop sign out in the country, they figured he was texting, and I had taken off my seat belt to grab the bottle water, the I could not reach. I was a parametric so I know that seat belts are important . Just writing this is making me feel better. <br />
I also feel better knowing that someone else is going through it too. <br />

Could any of you read the Dead Man's Curve story on the "broken back group" page and let me know what you think?

Hey everyone....sorry I didn't respond...totally forgot my password and kinda forgot about this site.....not good. Its been a little over 3 years since my accident and I will say that I definitely have made improvement. I know that i will most likely have to deal with some pain and discomfort probably the rest of my life......but I have learned to live with it and not let it effect my happiness. There are those days where i just want to give up....and im down. But you know im just grateful for the second chance. I actually had that tattooed on my arm. If anyone would like to talk I am there. I needed people to talk to when I was recovering. I can be reached at startinthesky21@gmail.com<br />

Nice comments!! I just had a fusion on my c7 t1 on nov 18 like 3 months ago. I was actually at a party and got jump and this guy put me in a full nelson nd broke my neck. I fell straight to the ground and was out for like 30 seconds. And I was paralyzed for 9 hours. After reading everyone elses comments it just gives me the chills cause you and i'm so lucky to be alive. If I didn't have my friends and family to back me up i wouldn't know what to do. I am so thankful for the people I work with helped me out. They donated there sick days to me so I could get paid and have my insurance. Alot has to get investigated about this to get all this paid back to me. Its not my fault. I was in the hospital for two weeks and had to learn how to walk again and had to go to therapy 3 days a week. I finally went back to work after 3 months but it doesn't feel the same. still sore and i lost alot of muscle. it sucks

Hi, an incredible story indeed. Good to hear you manage so well now. I got a friend who's facing a neck operation. He has several broken vertebrae due to degeneration and already gripping problems and numb fingers. He fears the op because the vertebrae will be fused and he won't be able to move his head after that. No more car driving etc. (his greatest hobby is to restore cars). I'd love to help him through hard times, even though it won't be possible to be with him. We live in different countries and I'm unemployed and have no money to go and see him. But we can at least mail and talk. Anybody who can help to give him more courage or is gone through the same sort of thing is welcome of course.

I still make improvements everyday myself, even after 3 and a half years. Although I must say every time I do improve, I realize now bad I as before. Do you ever experience this?

An incredible story. I went through something very similar, and it really hits home for me when you talk about how the injury efects you emotionally; even months and years afterwards. would you say that you are fully recovered or are there some things you find diffcult now?<br />
I sincerely hope you have made a full recovery, and if not, I will hope everyday that you get better. Thank you for sharing.<br />

Hi. That was a good read, and glad you're doing better. Can you provide more details of how your neck was repaired? My GF's neck was broken when she was 6 years old. She is now 21, and is on painkillers daily, and has had to live with it set in place. An operation is available but the risks are paralysation, and death. This was nearly ten years ago she was told this. Maybe there is some advanced procedure to prevent this. Anyway, if you can provide any help, would be much appreciated