Paraplegic Christine Kent Learns That Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

Christine Kent dealt with severe pain for some time after her injury.

Christine Kent dealt with severe pain for some time after her injury.

Editor’s Note: Christine Kent woke up with a great deal of pain and suffering. At that time, she had no idea what the final outcome would be. But, none of us really know what we’re going to become in life, nor do we know the twists and turns that we’ll encounter along the way. But, finally Christine Kent was out of the hospital and ready to start rehab. Part 4 of a 5 part series.

My physical therapist  told me I’d be surprised at all the things I’d be able to do. “When you’re feeling up to it, you can do a marathon,” my therapist said. I looked at that therapist and said, “You’re crazy.” I looked at him like he had two heads. “You’re out of your mind, there’s no way.”

I thought he didn’t understand how much pain I was in, and that severe pain lasted for one and a half years. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was a pain level of 10, until I had a procedure done at John Hopkins, known as a Dorsal Root Entry Zone Ablation(DREZ).

The doctors cut open the entire area and removed all the scar tissue and the bone fragments from my injury. They also removed a bullet fragment that was still lodged in my spinal canal. Then, they blocked the nerves in the spinal canal, so that I wouldn’t feel the pain that had been in my groin area and my hips.
That procedure took me 4 months to recover from, because they had to pull the muscles around the rods in my back to keep them from being so close to my skin. After that operation, I finally felt like I had gotten my life back, because that operation relieved about 70 percent of my pain.
Christine finally felt like she had her life back after the pain relieving procedure.

Christine finally felt like she had her life back after the pain relieving procedure.

Another important key to getting my life back was joining the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group at HealthSouth in Sunrise, Florida, the Broward Chapter. I had gone to HeathSouth for patient rehab. After about a year, one of the members of our group got involved in handcycling  and became the regional director of Achilles International of south Florida.

Achilles helps disabled athletes to participate in mainstream athletics, with a focus on marathons, by paying entrance fees, loaning hand cycles to the athletes who don’t have one and sometimes paying for the hotels where the athletes stay when they attend marathon competitions. They also set up training schedules for the athletes and plan various types of outings. We also have tune up parties where different athletes are fitted to specific hand cycles, depending upon their needs.

Christine was hooked after the first time she rode on a handcycle.

Christine was hooked after the first time she rode on a handcycle.

Achilles also works with wounded veterans. When my friend Chris Holcomb became the regional director for Achilles in south Florida, he introduced our support group at HealthSouth to the sport of handcycling  and encouraged all of us to try it.  Once I got on a hand cycle, I was hooked.

Next: When The Impossible Becomes Possible With Paraplegic Christine Kent

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at

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2 Responses to Paraplegic Christine Kent Learns That Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

  1. steven j. diaz jr. says:

    i just left a big ol msg lol talking to u but idk if u will see it so ill try to write it small an to the point..ok im steven diaz from hayward ca,32m and i was shot 3xs one of those bullets hit me in the lower back L-1 leaving me incomplete para however ive been lucky enough to regain some movement..but i get this pain i belive your speaking of no fun so glad to hear ur better now..anyhow i read ur story an ive been looking all over for somebody to help me ?im trying to set up a funraiser handcycle 100mile ride from my city to sacaramento ca. to help fund 5ppl i dont know that have a sci go to a place called project walk in san diego ca. becuz i just think this would be so cool an i think maybe if i could find a good sponser i could do more things like this plus in doing this maybe somebody will help me be able to pay for project walks full after reading ur story i was like she has to knoe exactly what im talking about being u have a sci an i think it is or was caused by a bullet idk plz respond if there isnt a hercules i believe u said thats who helpd u out here then maybe i could be like a start for being one out here to open for sci in cali?idk again just a thought but im really trying to do this ride i wanna make it a real big event i got a director that wants to film the whole thing from start to finish but i need to get sponser to help pay for food a place to sleep or i could sleep in car whoever follows me but then i need to hit radio stations to get sci an disabled ppl from all around to come out and start the race an last but not least people to donate money for me making this ride it is going to be called “ride to walk”an again ive never done anything like this …but i feel it in my gut i think this will be so awsome to ride this an most of all send 5 ppl to pw ………… plz help if u can or tell me where i could go or who to contact if u know of any information..takecare and ur story is so touching im super glad ur pain is gonna wonderful thing to help ur life ..well hope to hear back from you thank you for your time…..steven j. diaz jr……………

    • Hello Steve,

      I will email you and try to make a few suggestions that may be helpful to you. The organization I handcycle with in Marathons is called “Achilles International” and they are the best ever! I look forward to speaking with you and I will do whatever I can to offer some advice to you.

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