Breaking a bone or two is one thing! Breaking back or neck is yet another, as unlike any other bone in our body, the spine, (back bone) not only keeps our body straight and tall, it also protects the delicate nervous tissue called the spinal cord, which serves as a link between our body and the brain.
Though it takes a violent force to break our back or neck, most of the time the impact is so strong, that it damages our spinal cord resulting into partial or complete loss of function below the level of injury.Think of a healthy and young male or female becoming the prisoner of his/her own body, loosing control over his/her bowl and bladder, within a split second. One can easily imagine the level of frustration and anxiety this person will go through, yet there is another tragic twist to it. What if this young person was the only bread winner of a his/her family? That's where breaking one's back or neck can mount to a broken family, and believe it or not about 80% of our clients are the only bread winners of their respective families, while more then 90% live below the poverty line.
Road traffic accidents being the #1 cause of spinal cord injuries, it mostly affect people below 40 in the developed countries, however, in Pakistan the mean age of our patients is 26 and falls from roof tops, trees, electric poles etc is the leading cause followed by an alarming rate of fire arm/gun shot wounds. (Refer to our Annual Report 2006, for other major causes of spinal cord injures in Pakistan).
In monitory terms nothing is more expensive than treating and rehabilitating patients with spinal cord injuries and it mounts to millions of dollars to rehabilitate just one patient in Europe or USA. You will be glad, to know, that we achieve the same within a friction of that amount right here in Hayatabad, Peshawar.
At the moment we use locally developed, low cost technology when it comes to the adoptive/supportive equipment, however, our Physical Rehabilitation protocols and Medical/Nursing care is 2nd to none in Pakistan.
It take a great deal of courage and patience to work with Paraplegics and Quadriplegics for a long time, it will not be fair, not to recognize, all the staff members who have spared their lives to this noble cause. Paraplegic Center is home to many great souls who have sacrificed their own comfort to give hope to others.
To most of us here at Paraplegic Center, it's not a job, it's a Mission and we pledge to transform Paraplegic Center Hayatabad, into a Center of Excellence for Patients, with spinal cord injuries from all over the country and the region, in next 5 years (Inshallah).