The Patient, The Person at the Center of my Care

By Maria McClatchie, RN

In October, I will be running the Chicago marathon.  I’m not a runner, but was inspired by my friend, Richard, to join the SCIS (Spinal Cord Injury Sucks) team and commit to raise money for spinal cord injury cure research, as well as awareness of the devastation that spinal cord injuries can cause.

Unfortunately, I am running not only in honor of Richard, but in memory of him, as Richard passed from complications of quadriplegia last February.

I was part of the care team who got to know Richard during the months he spent at OU Medical center following a spinal cord injury which left him paralysed from the chest down.  He shared with me  the things he loved before his injury, how he lived an active and full life while teaching others to do the same. 

I’d like to share with you this short story about Richard and what may be learned from the patient who is  at the center of our care.

Richard was admitted to the Trauma ICU May 5th 2010 following a bike accident which fractured his neck and injured his spinal cord. I remember the first two days with him very clearly. Naturally he was [...] continue the story