Video Series Teaches Spinal Cord Patients Critical Recovery Skills

Imageworks Film and Video, Inc. Produces Learning Tools for MossRehab

The statistics are frightening. More than 17,000 new spinal cord injuries occur each year. Less than 1% of persons injured will experience a complete neurological recovery by the time of hospital discharge.[1]

99% of persons with a spinal cord injury will learn a new normal when they leave the hospital, adjusting to their injuries emotionally and physically through time, physical rehabilitation, and education.
Organizations like Einstein Healthcare Network’s nationally renowned MossRehab begin the delicate journey of spinal cord injury recovery with their patients, and then dedicate themselves to supporting each patient through their entire life. Repeatedly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the number one rehabilitation hospital in the Philadelphia region, Moss provides spinal cord injury or SCI patients with a continuum of comprehensive spinal cord care. Translation- they know a lot about SCI’s. But if you’re the one living with an SCI, you have a wealth of knowledge to share too.

Recognizing the power of clinical expertise coupled with patient experience, and with the help of financial support from a patient who had lived through the challenges of an SCI,

the MossRehab SCI team worked with PA-based Imageworks Film and Video to produce an educational video series entitled “Living with a Spinal Cord Injury”. The series provides extensive information on the day to day care required for people with an SCI, but more importantly gives new patients and their families invaluable perspectives from SCI patients themselves.

Marni Nutkowitz, PsyD, SCI Neuropsychologist at MossRehab, explains the premise, “It is often only through exposure to the experiences of others that newly injured individuals begin to realize that they are not alone,” explains Nutkowitz, “and that living a productive life after SCI is within their reach. As with any traumatic event, to be able to relate to someone who has successfully navigated their way through it, is invaluable.”

MossRehab introduced Imageworks’ producer Lorrie King to 12 SCI patients, each identified as having unique insights into several areas of physical and emotional concern common to newly injured SCI persons. “I had the privilege of getting to know each one of these patients and found all of them to be very comfortable talking about their personal physical and emotional experiences. I knew they would make powerful on-camera interviews and help us to create an engaging framework for the more clinical information we needed to cover.”

Patient interviews coupled with numerous MossRehab clinical experts resulted in 10 video segments on topics including breathing, bladder and bowel care, intimacy, and emotional health.

Released on MossRehab’s website over the next few months, they will provide a worldwide resource for SCI patients and their caregivers.
Using patients to teach other SCI patients was key to this effort, but it did have some unexpected consequences. Says Alysse, an SCI patient who appears in the videos, “The best way to help yourself is to help someone else, and it sounds cliché but until you see that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life, you don’t know how good it feels.”

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