I am sure we have all read the statistics on longevity and spinal cord injury, the risks , the issues and so on but here we have a guy who is celebrating 50 years as a vented Spinal Cord Injury survivor!
He’s been paralyzed from the neck down for 50 years and that makes Walt Lawrence either the longest surviving ventilator-dependent quadriplegic in B.C. or darn close to it.
“He’s outlived any statistical, predictive model. He’s off the charts,” says Karen Anzai, a spinal cord program educator G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre, as she looked at a graph on her computer showing expected lifespans of patients who are ventilator-dependent.
“I attribute it to his optimism, his resiliency, his religious faith and his desire to contribute,” says Anzai, a rehabilitation consultant. “Plus, if you noticed his water cup attached to his wheelchair, he’s constantly hydrating himself with water which may reduce any respiratory complications.”