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Paralyzed North Carolina Woman Hopes to Walk

Wheelchair.jpgAccording to an article by the Charlotte Observer, on May 23, 2010, Rachelle Chapman walked to her bachelorette pool party and left paralyzed from the chest down. It was a normal day for her, but it ended with a life-changing event. Chapman and her friends were horsing around when one of her friends pushed her into the pool. She landed in an awkward position in the shallow end and injured her vertebra. Chapman immediately felt nothing from her chest down and had no feeling on the outside of her arms. Chapman and her fiancé were supposed to be married just weeks after the accident, but for obvious reasons, the wedding was postponed for more than a year.

Chapman has never revealed the name of the friend who pushed her into the pool. The woman was also a bridesmaid at Chapman’s wedding and she does not hold her friend responsible for her injuries. It was an unfortunate accident that led to tragic consequences.

As part of her recovery, Chapman trained at Project Walk, a facility that treats spinal cord injuries in California. During her stay there, she was able to gain a tremendous amount of strength. When she first got to Project Walk, she was weak and suffering from bone loss. At the end of her treatment she had increased her strength and was able to sit upright without passing out from low blood pressure.

Chapman was only at Project Walk for three weeks, but she hopes to go back again this year. She is now working out at home to continue her progress. Her fiancĂ©e and father-in-law built her a table to work out with while she is at home. She uses a home gym and does weight-bearing exercises to continue to build her strength. She has confidence that she will eventually be able to walk again and her nurses at Project Walk feel just as confident. Kimberly Davis, one Chapman’s instructors at Project Walk, says that it is possible that Chapman will be able to walk again. Davis concedes that this kind of spinal injury is unpredictable, but that unpredictability works in Chapman’s favor.


While Chapman’s injury was an accident and no one was at fault, not every personal injury is so innocent. If you or someone you know has been injured, you should consult a Charlotte personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC will work to provide you the skilled representation you deserve. Please contact us today at (704) 370-2828 for a free consultation.

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