Lindsey "Lily" Stilwell - Spinal Cord Injury
Organized by: Tonya Fulford
No place like home
January 11, 2017
EVENT DATE Oct 14, 2016
On October 14th 2016, 19 year old Lindsey "Lily" Stilwell sustained life threatening injuries as a passenger in a car accident. This unfortunate accident caused the fracture of the C1, C2 and C4-C7 vertebrae in her neck and a level C6 spinal cord injury. Lily was taken by ambulance to Central Vermont Medical Center, located in Berlin, where it was determined that due to the severity of her injuries she would be better served at a larger hospital. She was transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center located in Burlington. It was there that Lily was taken into emergency surgery to repair only her C4, C5, C6 and C7 vertebrae. Portions of those vertebrae were so badly shattered that bone had to be transferred from her right pelvis to aid in the repair. The surgery took over 6 hours and has left Lily with metal rods and screws in her neck. Lily's C1 and C2 vertebrae remain fractured and will not be repaired. Her surgeon said she would never have any movement in her neck if her C1 and C2 were repaired. She will have to wear a neck brace for at least 6 weeks while her body heals.
The doctors have told us that considering the extent of her injuries she should not have use of her hands and arms, but she does! She is able to move them around but has a hard time doing so.
Lily is unable to move any of her lower body and has no use of her diaphragm and stomach muscles, the doctors have told us that Lily will never walk again. She is extremely fortunate that her spinal cord was not severed but it was damaged. Lily currently has a spinal tap/drain to help relieve pressure off her spine.
On top of everything else Lily has developed an aggressive pneumonia which is causing respiratory failure. She is now on life support.
Right now every moment is a struggle for Lily. This is breaking the hearts of her family as they stand by and watch helplessly.
Lily is a sweet young lady that would go out of her way to help someone in need even if it meant she went without. She has always had a love for all animals. It was very common for her to bring injured animals home and try to nurse them back to health, whether it was a baby mouse, squirrel or a kitten, it didn't matter to her, she just wanted to take care of it. Lily loves using her camera to take pictures of landscapes and silly pictures of her beloved dog Sandy Bo-Bandy. She also loves to go swimming, hiking and has a love for gardening.
Lily will have a lengthy stay in the hospital followed by months of intense inpatient rehabilitation. Before Lily is able to return home there are modifications needed to her home to make it wheelchair accessible such as wheelchair ramps and bathroom renovations.
We greatly appreciate any donation you are able to make. If you are reading Lily's story but are not able to make a donation, please share with your friends and family. All donations received will go directly towards out of pocket medical expenses for her care and modifications to her home.