University of Southern California Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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People Involved in the Project


Aaron »

Aaron got an incomplete spinal cord injury at L-3 when he was shot in front of his own house by rival gang members at 19 years old.


Alley »

Alley's history of good health changed suddenly when, at age 76, a broken leg led to a pressure ulcer and a series of increasingly serious medical complications.


Alma »

Alma is a great example of the idea that having a disability doesn't mean that you can't have a full and active life.


Billy »

A bullet from gang related violence ended Billy's dreams of getting a better life through his athletic scholarship to college.


Brenda »

While on the job as a messenger in 1987, Brenda had a car accident that left her with an incomplete spinal cord injury at C-7.


Charlie »

Charlie was shot by muggers during a robbery, resulting in a spinal cord injury as well as a possible brain injury.


Chris »

At age 17 in 1978, Chris got a spinal cord injury diving in a mountain river.


Dave »

In 1974, 16-year-old Dave was riding his bicycle when a hit-and-run driver left him with a spinal cord injury.


Frank »

Gang activity left Frank with a gunshot wound that caused a spinal cord injury when he was just barely out of high school.


Gary »

Traveling with his band to a gig, 19-year-old Gary was hurt in a car accident when the driver fell asleep at the wheel.


Helen »

Helen has been a divorced mother, a problem drinker, and received a spinal cord injury at C-5 following a gunshot wound.


Howard »

After "60 years of an easy, soft life," Howard received a spinal cord injury at C-5 in a fall from a ladder while painting a house in 1999.


Judy »

When doctors told Judy, 43, the cervical spinal cord injury she sustained in a car accident in 1993 would leave her housebound for life, her reply was, "Uhhh, no!"


Ken »

After being drawn into a gang lifestyle, a gunshot wound at age 19 again changed Ken's life, as a caring doctor and a pair of youth pastors inspired him.


Mitch »

After acquiring a spinal cord injury at C-6 in a car accident at age 14, Mitch was supported by a large, loving family who looked after him themselves.


Odel »

In 1983, 28-year-old Odel fell from a tree he was trimming, getting a spinal cord injury at C-4.


Rachel »

In 2000, 27-year-old Rachel developed transverse myelitis at C-5/C-6, leaving her with impaired movement and feeling.


Robert »

Following a car accident that left him with a cervical spinal cord injury in 1995, Robert believed God spared his life so he could "touch the lives of others."


Steve »

After his brother was killed in a "drive-by," Steve stole a car and got a spinal cord injury during a high speed chase.


Tom »

Tom was hoping to change his life after a long involvement with gangs when a gunshot wound caused a spinal cord injury.