Prior to 2014, before we hosted the first congress, the experience for someone with a spinal cord injury usually was that when you finished rehabilitation, it was as if that was the end of the line; there was nothing left that could be done to maintain or improve your quality of life. There was a lack of information and resources on how to pick up your life. Most people went home and stayed indoors as if imprisoned or went abroad to Holland in search of a better future.
There were also cases of professionals who refused to treat people with spinal cord injuries because of the complexity of health issues some of them might have due to their injury. Professionals each had their own opinions that differed from one another or they made decisions that would leave the patient hanging in between the two with no voice in the matter.
In the past, if someone became disabled, the responsibility of caring for him/her would fall on the family. That became the standard of how a person with a disability in general should live.
Currently, because of all the technical and medical innovations, the life expectancy of people with a spinal cord injury has drastically improved. But what kind of innovation is available for those with a spinal cord injury that provides a better quality of life now that they can live longer and how do we change the general perception about the possibilities for someone with a spinal cord injury?
In light of past experiences, we felt the need to bring medics, professionals and specialists together tobetter understand spinal cord injuries and life after. Creating a platform where experts from around the world can bring their knowledge of the worldwide advances right here in the Caribbean and for the Caribbean. A place where the different professionals as well as people with a spinal cord injury can interact, exchange ideas and perspectives about spinal cord injuries to better understand how we, together, can help people with spinal cord injury.
Through the years, we’ve seen that a shift has started but we are not there yet and we are well aware that steady progress wins the game.
With that said, we invite you to also form part of this life changing journey for the betterment of people with a spinal cord injury.
See you there!
Originally posted on the congress website