NSCIA Houston’s Rafferty Laredo Saw A Need For Community Based Support For Those With Spinal Cord Injuries

Rafferty working with one of his patients. He looks at each patient as a person, not as a diagnosis.

Rafferty working with one of his patients. He looks at each patient as a person, not as a diagnosis.

Editor’s Note: World changers observe the world going in one direction, and they believe it should go in another. Sooner or later, they’ll ask the question, “Who is going to change the world for the better?” They come to the same conclusion, “If no one else, why not me?” They often realize that their gifts in life are seeing the world as it is, next seeing the world as it can be and finally realizing that they themselves are the implements to be used for change. That’s what happened to Rafferty Laredo. Part 3 of a 5 part series.

“The care that people with spinal cord injuries receive today is different than it used to be,” Laredo explains. “There are strict regulations in the healthcare system and with insurance programs that have dramatically changed the amount of time patients are given for rehabilitation. I became keenly interested in how we were going to continue to care for people with spinal cord injuries and other types of paralysis after they left the hospital. Hospitals are doing the best they can, but we need to figure out how we can help care for these individuals throughout their lifetimes. This is impossible to fund through traditional insurance programs of today.”

Rafferty wants to ensure that patients can receive help for a lifetime.

Rafferty wants to ensure that patients can receive help for a lifetime.

In Houston, Texas where Laredo lives, there was no community based support system for people with spinal cord injuries or paralysis. They would stay in the hospital and in rehab for 2 to 4 months.

Today, the standard length of stay in the hospital and in rehab is often only 28 to 30 days. The shift in the focus of caring for these patients has transferred from the hospital to some type of community based care support like the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. However, there was no Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association in Houston. Of course, when your body and your life are dramatically changed, the time required to adjust to both takes more than 28 to 30 days, so there’s a very definite need for a support system like NSCIA in every community.

There must be a highly trained, highly motivated specialist like Rafferty Laredo, willing to step up to the plate and set up a program and a plan to meet the continuing needs and to build the support groups to help individuals with spinal cord injuries for the rest of their lives.

To learn more about the NSCIA Houston program, visit www.txspinalcord.org.

Next: Rafferty Laredo Discusses His Duties With NSCIA Houston

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 http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

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