Kevin Morton entered a hospital the first time with a bullet in his chest. Years later, he has returned- this time with a stethoscope around his neck.
Karen Muraszko was born “handicapped” but her parents didn’t see or treat her as disabled. Neither did she. So she learned to help other children with the same diagnosis she has- spina bifida.
Spina bifida is a neural tube defect – a type of birth defect of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. It happens if the spinal column of the fetus doesn’t close completely during the first month of pregnancy. This can damage the nerves and spinal cord. Screening tests during pregnancy can check for spina bifida. Sometimes it is discovered only after the baby is born.
The symptoms of spina bifida vary from person to person. Most people with spina bifida are of normal intelligence. Some people need assistive devices such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs. They may have learning difficulties, urinary and bowel problems, or hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain.
The exact cause of spina bifida is unknown. It seems to run in families. Taking folic acid can reduce the risk of having a baby with spina bifida. It’s in most multivitamins. Women who could become pregnant should take it daily.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Nanette Monroe didn’t listen when people told her she was “too old” to pursue her dream. She did anyway, and now she helps others do the same.
Svetlana Kleyman‘s life was changed, first by an unexpected illness which left her with a physical disability, and then by other people’s response to it. She’s still fighting to get her life back.
And Dr. Heimlich may be 96 years old and retired, but he is still changing lives with the famous maneuver he developed. Listen to how he saved a woman’s life recently.