My name is Brittanie Gorden and I am writing you on behalf of my younger sister, Mackenzie Gorden. Mackenzie is a senior at South Central Calhoun High School, in Lake City, IA. Mackenzie fractured her C5/C6 vertebrae in a car accident June 4, 2012. This caused spinal cord damage, resulting in paralysis. Mackenzie is classified as an ASIA Scale C quadriplegic.
Mackenzie was life flighted from Stewart Memorial Community Hospital in Lake City to Mercy in Des Moines. When we arrived in Des Moines we got the horrid news that Mackenzie was paralyzed and would never walk again. Not happy with the treatment or passion from her Dr.'s we had her life flighted to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, MN. Mackenzie spent over a week in the Neuro-ICU. In that time she had a numerous hour surgery where she had rods and screws put in her neck to stabilize her C4 through C7 vertebrae. After the ICU Mackenzie spent over six weeks in the rehab unit. While there she worked on simple things we take for granted. Breathing on her own, feeding herself, daily grooming and make-up and being able to sit up without being dizzy. Towards the end she also worked on standing for short periods in a standing frame with lots of assistance. When Mackenzie left St. Mary’s she went by air ambulance to The Craig Hospital in Englewood, CO for long-term therapy. She spent another six plus weeks in Colorado trying to relearn to do everyday tasks. She made great strides in Colorado. Our family was so impressed at the mobility she was regaining and what she wasn’t gaining back she was adapting to what she had. Mackenzie’s biggest achievement while in Colorado was when she realized she had minor controlled leg movement. This gave our family as well as Dr.'s great hope to what the future could hold.
Mackenzie left Colorado just in time to get back for South Central Calhoun’s homecoming. Mackenzie was crowned homecoming queen, an awesome welcome home. Once home, Mackenzie, previously voted captain of both the cheerleading squad and dance team began attending practices, she tried to be as involved as possible. She was able to perform at the Iowa State Dance Team Championships with her team in Des Moines in their light routine, which placed 3rd in. Unfortunately Mackenzie was not able to perform at State with the cheerleading squad but she was able to cheer from the sidelines for the football and basketball games.
While at home Mackenzie has been doing physical therapy sessions at her local hospital in Lake City, IA. She works on self transferring from her wheelchair to a mat, going from sitting to laying down and laying down to sitting up, standing, and moving her legs while standing. All of this helps her be more independent and is guided towards getting her walking. While her therapy has been great, she needs a more specialized program that deals with spinal cord patients. That is exactly what the NeruoRecovery Network program at Craig does.
We are so fortunate that The Craig Hospital is getting a new therapy program from the Christopher Reeve Foundation, The NeuroRecovery Network, NRN. NRN, is a great opportunity for Mackenzie. NRN translates the latest scientic advances into effective, activity-based rehabilitation treatments. NRN is designed to provide and develop therapies to promote functional recovery and improve the health and quality of life of people living with paralysis. For Mackenzie to participate in NRN she has to return to Colorado for a minimum of eight weeks at a cost of $20,000+. Unfortunately Mackenzie's insurance only pays for 20 therapy sessions a year, which she has already used for therapy while at home. Any further therapies or treatments are out of pocket expenses for our family.
Mackenzie has to participate in NRN, our family will not accept no for an answer. She will be given every opportunity possible to get her back on her feet. That is why we are asking for donations. All donations no matter the size are hugely helpful and appreciated. You may think $5 doesn’t help, but twenty people giving $5 is $100! It adds up so fast.
Thank you for considering this opportunity to help Mackenzie. please feel free to contact me at email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.