Client Name: Lois H.
Hometown: West Milford, NJ
Injury/Diagnosis Date: 01/01/94
Injury/Diagnosis: Spinal Cord Cyst T5-6
Start Date: 06/13/07
Lois was a math teacher in Riverdale, New Jersey. In 1994 she began experiencing drop foot and weakness in her left leg. An MRI revealed that a cyst was pressing on her spinal cord at T5 and T6. In 1995 she had her first surgery and hoped her cord would come back, but unfortunately it was still compressed.
In 1998 her other leg started to become affected and Lois began tripping frequently. She visited her neurologist who said another surgery would have to be performed. During this second surgery a shunt was put in to help the spinal fluid flow freely. Shortly after this surgery Lois stopped teaching and began physical therapy. She has not been able to functionally walk since the Spring of 2000.
Lois’ family and friends traveled back and forth constantly when she was in rehab and are still very present in her life. In addition to the support she gained from close relatives and friends she has been greatly influenced by Scott Chesney, CareCure, and a girl from her town with MS who gave her a lot of tips. Over the years she has learned who her true friends are and they have helped her with coping.
After retirement from teaching Lois continues to tutor people in her free time. She says tutoring allows her to keep her mind sharp. All of her students are recommended to her through word of mouth.
Lois and her family have modified their home slowly. They have added a ramp off their back deck, a bathroom shower seat in the tub, and a stair glide. When needed, she also uses an aluminum travel ramp to get into non accessible houses.
Lois is full of life and tries to find humor in the mishaps that come with using a chair. She says she has gotten stuck on her stair glide a few times and has also found herself stuck in the mud. She is typically up for anything and has participated in the New Jersey “They Will Surf Again” Life Rolls On event twice and competed in the 2012 NJ Marathon as part of Team Push to Walk. Although Lois joined the team late, it helped that she was living in Florida for half of the year and regularly using her hand cycle and that allowed her to be prepared for the race.