Paralyzed college student donates $20,000 to rehabilitation hospital

Call it the ultimate form of gratitude. A college student who was paralyzed while playing rugby at his campus recently donated $20,000 to the Florida hospital that treated him for the serious spinal cord injury he suffered during his first college intramural game.

The 22-year-old college student suffered the spinal cord injury while playing for the intramural rugby team at Florida Atlantic University. After breaking his neck after violent collision, he is now paralyzed from the chest down, according to a feature story in the Miami Herald.

The student’s family raised the $20,000 donation through a summer tournament to reduce the population of lionfish — an invasive species — in the Bahamas. The hospital that treated the player, Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital, will use the donation to purchase therapeutic equipment to help patients who have suffered similar injuries, the Miami Herald reported.

The student decided to give the donation to the hospital because of the work that the medical center’s staff put in while helping him adjust to living his life in a wheelchair. While presenting the check to the hospital, the student personally thanked the physicians, therapists and staffers at the hospital for all that they had done.

This story demonstrates just how quickly a spinal cord injury can change a person’s life. Making the adjustment to a new life spent in a wheelchair is a difficult one. And those patients who do suffer paralysis need to take advantage of whatever resources — medical and psychological — that they can find.

Source: The Miami Herald, “Paralyzed rugby player gives $20,000 to Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital,” Jay Weaver, Sept. 26, 2011