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Spinal Cord Injury and the Family: A New Guide
by Michelle J. Alpert M.D. and Saul Wisnia
foreword by Cindy and Ted Purcell
Harvard University Press, 2008
eISBN: 978-0-674-02017-7 | Paper: 978-0-674-02715-2
Library of Congress Classification RD594.3.A47 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 617.482044


Spinal cord injury, or SCI, is frequently sudden and unexpected—through accident, disease, or violence, patients temporarily lose control of their bodies and, it seems, their lives. With rehabilitation, they can learn to navigate their world once more, retraining muscles and mind to compensate for paralyzed limbs and diminished strength. But as Dr. Michelle Alpert shows here, there is far more to recapturing full, independent lives than regaining movement. Central to long-term success is mending the family unit.

Combining Dr. Alpert’s clinical experience with patients’ own stories, Spinal Cord Injury and the Family is for individuals and their families who must climb back from injury: for the young quad couple, both quadriplegic, who wish to conceive and raise a child; for the paraplegic dad who wants to teach his daughter to drive; for the couple wondering how they can regain the sexual spark in their relationship.

The authors cover the causes of and prognosis for SCI through case studies, review common courses of rehabilitation, and answer the “what now?” questions—from daily routines to larger issues concerning sex, education and employment, childbearing, and parenting with SCI. Rich in clinical information and practical advice, the book shows how real patients and their families are living full lives after spinal cord injury.

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