INJURY RECOVERY: Foundation Helps Iowans With Spinal Cord Injuries

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An accident on the football field left an Altoona Iowa man paralyzed from the neck down.

“Gave me a 3 percent chance of regaining movement or feeling below my neck,” Chris Norton explained.

In less than three years, the Luther College student has finished his junior year and can move his arms and is gaining strength in his legs.

Thanks to nearly 30 hours a week in intensive therapy and a positive attitude Norton is slowly moving towards his main goal; to walk on his own again.

Norton credits access to equipment with his recovery. “I don’t think people realize the difficulty involved with spinal cord injuries and just the lack of availability for people who need it most,” he said.

To help with that, Norton started the SCI CAN Foundation in August 2012. It stands for Spinal Cord Injury, Christopher Anderson Norton and provides equipment and grants to hospitals and rehab facilities.

The foundation’s first donation was a $28,000 RT 300 bike to Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah, where Norton spends most of his time.

“We would never have had a piece of equipment like this without the insight of Chris and the foundation and the grant,” said Jennessa Luzum.

The bike uses Functional Electrical Stimulation to re-grow muscles that are lacking or weakened.

Norton hopes equipment donations like this one play a major role in strengthening therapy opportunities in Iowa.

For more information on the SCI CAN Foundation, click here.