Patrick Rummerfield Proves That All It Takes Is A Fighting Spirit
Patrick Rummerfield had a 135mph car accident in 1974 ... it changed his life.
Patrick Rummerfield says 'Wings for Life World Run is brilliant ... what an incredible idea. What an amazing adventure for all who participate. It's such an ingenious way of raising funds and awareness for spinal cord injury research.'
Rummerfield is certainly excited, 'Absolutely ... Yes! I'm in training for the World Run into the Everglades in Florida. The only time we fail is when we quit. Never give up! Never give in! With an iron will, you will always win!'
Rummerfield's story is nothing short of miraculous On 20th September 1974, at the age of 21, a 135 mph car accident left him paralysed, and doctors didn't expect him to survive three days, let alone forty years. Over 85% of his spinal cord at the fourth cervical vertebra was destroyed, and the damage extended from the base of his brain to his midback. But six weeks after the accident something truly remarkable happened.
'Right after the nurses had put me back to bed after a session on how to operate an electric wheelchair, I was lying there, day-dreaming about racing Corvettes and playing basketball, when my left big toe twitched; it was just a flicker, but enough to give me hope – despite the immediate onset of excruciating neuropathic pain.' Says Rummerfield
Today, Rummerfield has regained much of his physical mobility. He is one of the very few spinal cord injured patients to have recovered, though he still has no sensation in his lower legs, 'so I have a tendency to fall down if I don't pay attention to where my feet are. But after seventeen years of intense physical therapy, relearning how to run and ride a bike without falling down or crashing (too often), I stood on the beach in Hawaii ready to take on the Ironman Triathlon.'
And as director of patient liaison at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Rummerfield sees the ongoing research done that hopes to make SCI a thing of the past. He is committed to putting an end to the daily struggle that comes with living with spinal cord injury: 'Through the efforts of foundations like the Wings for Life and their inspiring initiatives like the Wings for Life World Run, where 100% of the funds raised goes straight to SCI research, other wheelchair users dreams may well come true.'
There is still a long way to go and a lot of research to be done, so we all need register now to run for those who can't on 4th May and fund it.
image credit: wingsforlifeworldrun.com