Recovery from Paralyzing Fall

Lauren Clapper recovers from a fall that paralyzed her with help of trauma team at NHRMC.

ClapperLaurenTraumaPatient2014 On vacation in Onslow County and having a good time with friends, 21-year-old Lauren Clapper couldn’t foresee that the decision to climb a tree was about to change her life. But when a branch on that tree broke, she fell 15 feet to the ground, landing on her head.

“When I woke up, I thought I was fine. I didn’t realize how badly injured I was,” said Clapper. But first responders with Onslow County EMS knew that her condition was serious.

It turned out Clapper had two broken wrists, thoracic back pain, and a T5 spinal cord injury that paralyzed her from the waist down. It was probable that she would never be able to walk again.

Fortunately, NHRMC Trauma Services is comprised of a highly skilled, multidisciplinary team that was able to provide Clapper with a complete continuum of care. From the AirLink team who flew her to the NHRMC Trauma Center, to the excellent care she received in the emergency room, intensive care unit, the inpatient unit, and finally in the NHRMC Rehabilitation Hospital, the NHRMC Trauma team provided seamless care every step of the way.

Two months after her fall, Lauren was able to walk out of the NHRMC Rehabilitation Hospital.

It was a long and often arduous path, but Clapper navigated it with determination, supported by NHRMC’s team of experts. Now driving a car again and with a new job as a dental hygienist, Clapper says, “I can’t say enough about the care I received through every part of my stay. You guys are superheroes every day.”