Spinal Cord Injury - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Spinal Cord Injury Patient Stories

Laetitia Hatem

RIC Spinal Cord Injury Patient Story

Watch this video and see how Laetitia Hatem traveled more than 10,000 miles from Beirut to Chicago.

See Laetitia's amazing journey.


Michele Lee

Michele Lee

Michele Lee found a career and an aptitude for art through RIC's Second Look program.

Read Michele's patient story.


Jorge Alfaro

Jorge Alfaro

Jorge suffered a spinal cord injury after being shot at the age of 15.

Read Jorge's patient story.


Charles Kay

Charles Kay

Charles experienced a traumatic spinal cord injury from a swimming pool accident.

Read Charles' patient story.


Martine Maenhout

Martine Maenhout

Emergency surgery to remove a spinal column blood clot left Martine paralyzed below the waist.

Read Martine's patient story.

After a Spinal Cord Injury, What’s Next 
in Your Recovery Journey?

RIC Spinal Cord Injury RehabilitationAs you leave the acute-care hospital, you have to make a very important decision... This is the time to choose RIC.

For spinal cord injury recovery, you need the nation’s #1 rehabilitation hospital* At the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), we combine science and care, to Advance Human Ability™.


You deserve care from the #1 rehabilitation hospital
in the country

RIC Spinal Cord Injury RecoveryAs a nationally recognized leader, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program offers a comprehensive rehabilitative approach to help you maximize your recovery potential and equip you with tools to succeed when you leave.

Thousands of patients choose RIC from across the country and around the world. RIC has been ranked the No. 1 Rehabilitation Hospital in the country for more than two decades by U.S. News & World Report. Each year more than 50,000 patients travel to RIC from around the globe to advance their abilities.

And, as the Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System Center – a federal designation from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research – RIC delivers the most innovative care.

RIC offers one of the only national programs that can treat patients at all levels of spinal cord injury: • Ventilator dependent • Diaphragmatic pacing • Complete tetraplegia • Complete paraplegia • Incomplete injuries


Mark Stephan, RIC spinal cord injury patient “Between the technology and the research, RIC is an amazing place. But what makes it special are the people. Everyone at RIC is committed to better outcomes, to connecting those whose lives may be broken and restoring not just function but also dignity and a better life than they may have ever thought possible.”

– Mark Stephan, who fractured his C2 and C3 vertebrae in a bicycle accident that paralyzed him from the neck down.

After intensive inpatient rehabilitation at RIC, he walked out one month later – on his own two feet.

RIC #1 Rehabilitation Hospital for 23 Years