Lauren, a college student from Bucks County, Pa., was no stranger to the water. She was a competitive swimmer, captain of her high school swim
team, an experienced lifeguard, and collegiate water polo player.
In 2013, Lauren’s life changed with just one dive – something she had done hundreds of times before. The difference was that this time, she dove into a black-bottom pool – she couldn’t see through the water.
Lauren fractured her spine and injured her spinal cord. Lauren received medical care at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, one of 14 hospitals in the nation to have a Level I Trauma Center and a federally-designated Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center.
“A single dive made me a quadriplegic,” said Lauren. “I couldn’t use my hands, arms or legs.” Through hard work and dedication to her rehabilitation, she is making strides each day.
“Lauren is a fantastic human being. She is unbelievably motivated not only to recover from her own injury, but also to help prevent others from sustaining spinal trauma and spinal cord injury,” said Dr. Joshua E. Heller, M.D., Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University and Lauren’s physician. “Her message is simple but profound, “if you can’t see through it, don’t dive into it.”