Chelsea Rush's Amazing Recovery

Posted on Tue, Feb 07, 2017

chelsea-of-the-sea-fw-(1).pngOn February 29th, 2016, Chelsea Rush was admitted to Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs, California with a severe spinal cord injury. She sustained the injury after being involved in a shocking ATV accident. Further investigation revealed that Chelsea received a fracture in her cervical 5 vertebrae, located in the neck. As a result, she is paralyzed from the chest down.

Chelsea encountered several complications after safely making it to the Desert Regional Hospital. Sadly, she developed several infections as well as a case of pneumonia, but was able to fight it off over the course of ten grueling days in the hospital.

Doctors watched her infections very closely and decided, after she had recovered, the best plan of action was to address the fracture in her spine. The surgical team was able to rebuild her C5 vertebrae and fuse the C4 and C6 vertebrae as well. Until this time she was unable to sit upright, but with the strength reintroduced into her neck from the surgery, she was able to sit more comfortably. In addition, they began to wean her off of her ventilator, allowing her to  slowly breathe on her own over time.

Six days later she was able to sit up for the first time in over two weeks with the help of the hospital’s physical therapy team. She was also able to do a majority of her breathing by herself and the fevers from her pneumonia and infections were broken.

An additional, six days later and Chelsea was removed from the intensive care unit. Her infection and sickness were completely under control and physical therapy could finally begin.

After a total of one month in the hospital she was able to begin breathing and eating on her own. Although, most of her muscle mass was lost during her stay at the hospital. Physical therapists struggled to rebuild her lost muscle mass and unfortunately the level of daily care Chelsea needed was hard to meet at this crucial time in her recovery. She was facing 6-7 hours of physical therapy each and every day.

Consequently, Chelsea’s family decided that the best plan of action was to move her to the most highly regarded spinal cord rehabilitation center in the country, Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado. However, Chelsea’s weakened state demanded that she remained bedridden. It would be impossible to move her by traditional means. She was accepted into the care of Craig Hospital and with the help of a personal life flight carrier, she safely made it to the location on April 11th, 2016.

For the next couple of months Chelsea powered through intense physical therapy that was tailored specifically for her recovery. Casts were voluntarily placed on her limbs in an attempt to un-freeze some of the weak muscles around her body. This was a very slow and painful process, but Chelsea was able to endure it and by June she was able to regain movement of her wrists and part of her arms.

At the time of the injury she was about 3 months pregnant with her son Wyatt. Her son remained healthy and unharmed during her months of recovery after arriving at the hospital. He was successfully delivered on August 18th, 2016 weighing in at 5 lbs, 3 oz.

At just 24 years of age, Chelsea sustained this unimaginable news, and yet she still remains hopeful. As of today, she has been discharged from Craig hospital and has regained much of the strength in her arms. She is now able to move herself in a custom wheelchair, specifically designed for her needs.

Chelsea was able to attend her first physical therapy session outside of the hospital on September 18th, 2016. Every day she regains more of her strength with the help of her friends, family, and aftercare specialists.

The family started a fundraising campaign in order to pay for the costs to get Chelsea the care she so desperately needs. They were able to raise over $150,000 for Chelsea’s cause. Donations are still being accepted to anyone who wishes to help out Chelsea and her family.


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