Experience and Recovery Team - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Skip to Content

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.

RIC Experience and Your Recovery Team

Whatever the cause or severity of your spinal cord injury, our goal is to help you develop skills and strategies for living life to its fullest. Every year, we help patients with spinal cord injuries from around the world do just that.

Individualized, collaborative care

RIC Spinal Cord Injury TeamYour team of spinal cord injury experts will be led by a physiatrist – a doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation – and may include nurses, clinical social workers, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and other specialists. Together with your family and rehabilitation team, you will set appropriate goals and work to achieve them. Your injury is unique, and your treatment will be too.

RIC researchers are working on new developments, giving patients early access to cutting-edge treatments. See our Clinical Trials page here.


Your RIC Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Team & Resources


RIC Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program Medical Director

David Chen, MDDavid Chen, MD, is the medical director at RIC’s Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program and the acute spine program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with a subspecialty in spinal cord medicine. Dr. Chen has been the director of RIC’s program for more than 25 years and leads the Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System. His research focuses on the study of robotic walking in spinal cord injury and bringing promising treatments from the laboratory to clinical trial phases, all with the goal of improving patient outcomes. An associate professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Chen has published more than 35 research articles and authored 10 chapters in medical textbooks.

RIC Doctor, Ki (Alex) Kim, MD Ki (Alex) Kim, MD
Attending Physician
RIC Doctor, Alan S. Anschel, MD Alan S. Anshel, MD
Attending Physician