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Man Overcomes Spinal Cord Injury and Publishes Book

As a former firefighter and father of three, Steven P. Christians always had an active lifestyle. When he wasn’t fighting fires, Steven ventured outdoors, spending his free time fishing, hunting, or camping. However, Steven’s life took a drastic turn when doctors found a syrinx, a fluid-filled cyst, in his spinal cord. At age 35, Steven…
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Motivation Leads to Remarkable Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury

Last March, Chris Graystone was enjoying a fun evening with friends. However, the night filled with good laughs and memories took a turn for the worse when a few friends decided to take a polar bear plunge. Chris decided to join them. While making his way to the lake, Chris tripped over uneven ground just…
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Horseback riding accident leaves competitor with spinal cord injury

Dr. Alice Gale has always been active. Last year, if she wasn’t at her dermatology practice, she was outside running, riding her bike or maybe at the gym. For as long as she can remember, she’s ridden horses, and for the past 20 years, she’s jumped horses competitively. Last February, Alice was in Florida for…
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Grand Rapids artist Carol Roeda and Mary Free Bed partner for ArtPrize

  When the ArtPrize® pairing of artists and venues began, Carol Roeda, a Grand Rapids-based artist, and Mary Free Bed wanted a meaningful connection if they were going to participate in the international art competition held in downtown Grand Rapids. Even before Carol entered her proposal on the ArtPrize website, she knew if she was…
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Spinal cord injury patient embraces life

by Diane Teall Battle Creek native Mitchell Chapman, 17, embraces life, be it good or bad. He’s experienced his share of both this year. Mitch transferred to Mary Free Bed from Borgess this past fall after a severe car accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. He had lost control of his car and…
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Therapeutic technology helps spinal cord injury patient

Kari, 24, sustained a spinal cord injury in an auto accident at the C6-C6 level (tetraplegia). Initially, Kari was placed in a halo, then in a cervical collar. An inpatient at Mary Free Bed for 4.5 months, Kari continues her physical and occupational therapy as an outpatient 3 days a week. In the video, Kari…
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Day at the playground ends in life-changing spinal cord injury

On a beautiful May day in 2009, Kate Clark and her 4-year-old Gwyneth packed a lunch and went to Kate’s son William’s school. While on the playground playing tag with her children and their schoolmates, a student standing on top of the slide jumped and landed on Kate. The boy’s elbow was shattered; Kate was paralyzed from the neck down. “I remember my sweet daughter…
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