This weekend, Bryan Palma will run for his mother Joy.
Like many of us, Bryan will celebrate his Mom on Mother's Day for all of the selfless acts and sacrifices they make throughout our lives. But on this particular Sunday, Bryan will support his Mom not only in showing thanks for all that Mothers do, but in the hopes of one day finding a cure for the spinal cord injury that she now lives with.
Almost two years since her injury, Joy is already making great improvements in her rehabilitation and credits the support of her family and caregivers for giving her the motivation to continue on her journey. Joy and Bryan chose to share their story, in the hopes of inspiring others and as a reminder to cherish the ones that you hold dear.
"My name is Joy Palma. I want to tell you my story about how I ended up in a wheelchair. On June 23, 2014 I fell in my bathroom because of UTI pain that made me dizzy. I woke up 5 minutes later, lying down on the floor. I wasn’t able to feel my body from the shoulder down.
After a few days in the hospital and unable to move, I had surgery done behind my neck to the C3 and C4 vertebrae. All I could remember was that I was in pain during my waking hours. In addition to the pain, I was unable to control my bowel and bladder, and I had very painful skin sores caused by tensor bands wrapped around my feet.
A few weeks later, I was moved to a spinal cord injury rehab facility where I received physiotherapy and occupational therapy. I had an incomplete spinal cord injury, which means there is a possibility that I can regain my movement and feeling, however, when and how much was something that doctors couldn’t answer.
After a few months in rehab, the next step was to move back home. However, I didn’t understand how I could be taken care of with my disability at home. We tried to test out living at home, but it was too difficult, so I applied to a nursing care home. I feel blessed to be at the nursing home I am at now. The people taking care of me are amazing. Although it is a not a state-of-the-art facility, I’ve been getting the proper care, physiotherapy, and doctor visits on a regular basis. 10 months after the accident, I’ve been able to walk with assistance for about 20 steps. It felt great! To this day, I continue to progress.
I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has been involved in my care, for your patience, encouragement, and for believing in me. I’m going to keep up the momentum!"