Dear Friends, Family and Community,
It was a year ago when our now 20 year old daughter, Kate, was a college freshman enjoying that sense of freedom many get living away from home for the first time when tragedy struck. On October 1, 2013, Kate was riding her bike in Austin, Texas training for the University of Texas cycling team when she was hit by a car and broke her neck. Kate was left quadriplegic, paralyzed from her upper chest down and is unable to use her wrists or hands. Kate has had extensive hospital stays, surgeries and spent time at the Craig Hospital in Denver as well as TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston for rehabilitation therapy.
November 30, 2020
Kate graduated from the university of Texas at Austin in May of 2018 with honors in BOTH of her majors, Government and Plan II (a Liberal Arts honors program). She took a gap year to focus on physical therapy and LSAT studying and is about to complete her first semester of Harvard Law School. The fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters of Harvard Law School are online due to COVID-19, but Kate is looking forward to moving to Massachusetts as soon as classes resume in person. She is also a Peer Mentor through the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation where she helps others living with spinal cord injuries, especially people who are recently injured. “
January 4, 2017
Update on Kate: mid-December 2016
Kate finished her sophomore year at the University of Texas last spring and was really looking forward to starting her junior year this past August. The semester started well with Kate attending class, participating in a focus group designed to bring awareness of the many issues disabled students face at UT, and generally enjoying being with her friends again. Yes…Mom was still living with her in the dorm providing her day-to-day care but Kate was able to attend classes with a friend instead of Mom and she also had help from a caregiver that she hired to help on days when she wasn’t in class with her friend. Mom and Dad were also excited by this new caregiver as he is an inactive Marine and newlywed that quickly became a new friend. So things were going well mentally and emotionally but physically Kate was starting to struggle with a pressure sore that just would not heal. Pressure sores are unfortunately fairly common in the paralysis community and can get very serious very quickly. They are a common secondary condition of spinal cord injury because of lack of sensation. Wounds can invade the bone and be life threatening. They are slow to heal and quick to spread making Kate’s surgery necessary despite excellent wound care. In early October doctors were starting to suggest surgical intervention might be necessary. The implications of surgery meant Kate would have to withdraw from school and, pending successful surgery, would have a long road back to health. Kate decided at the end of October to medically withdraw from UT and undergo surgery at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. The Shepherd Center is a world-class spinal cord injury (SCI) surgical and rehab center similar to TIRR in Houston and the Craig Hospital in Denver, all of which Kate is now a former patient! Surgery went well and Kate is currently recovering. Although the holiday season turned out a little unconventional this year, Kate is hoping to be back in Texas by the new year and healthy enough to be at the ride wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable ride.
Photo Galleries (3)
December 3, 2015
Kate, I used to work with your dad years ago. I'm sorry that I just heard your story yesterday, but you sure are an inspiration. Keep up the impeccable work. My daughter, Katie, is just a few years behind you. Katie will begin college next Fall. We will keep you and your family in our prayers. God bless.
November 14, 2014
Good Luck with the big ride this weekend. I am not able to join in the fun. I wish you great success with your studies. I admire your strength and courage! As an Attorney, you will be powerful! Stay Strong!
November 14, 2014
The MULES look forward to riding in this event and are delighted to support such a great cause.
Paddy "Le Patron"
November 7, 2014
From all of us at SWCC, we wish you the best and never give up the fight. Even though we have not met, you inspire me tremendously and I thank you.