Jenn Sexton was five weeks pregnant when she and her husband, Thomas, decided to make a day of riding all-terrain vehicles near their home in Dalzell, S.C. One moment she was laughing and having a great time, and the next instant she felt herself laying on the ground, struggling to breathe. On a hill, she had lost control of the ATV, and was thrown from the recreation vehicle.
As she laid there, looking up at the sky, Jenn knew something serious had happened. The doctors told her when she arrived at the hospital that she had a complete T-12 spinal cord injury, and was paralyzed from the waist down.
Pregnant and Paralyzed. Now What?
Within a few weeks, Jenn had transferred to Atlanta’s Shepherd Center for additional rehab and help in adjusting to life in a wheelchair. Fiercely independent, Jennifer was a staff sergeant at Shaw Air Force Base prior to her accident. More than anything else, she wanted two things: a healthy baby and her sense of self back.
When she returned home to South Carolina, Jenn faced the challenges of having a new normal, and new way of getting around, along with the rest of her pregnancy. She was determined to make it work. And she did, giving birth to her healthy son, Thomas, on September 10, 2013.
On a daily basis, though, she wondered how would she ever take care of a newborn baby as a paralyzed mother?
In an interview for Shepherd Center’s magazine, Jennifer said, “I was so ready and so excited to be a mom,” Jenn says. “But after the accident, it turned into worry. I started thinking things like, how would I nurse the baby from the wheelchair? What if I dropped him? I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to give him all that he needed.” (see the full story.)
While Jenn had never planned on joining Club Paralysis, (the club no one wants to join), she was now a member of a community of parents who worry about caring for children while living with a disability. The fear she experienced is common for anyone who is a new parent and has limited mobility. So much so, that CNN felt her story was a universal one that deserved a spotlight.
Jenn Discusses Parenting with a Disability on CNN:
Jenn Shares Her Secret to Independence: The Cure M14XL Extra Long Catheter
As Thomas got older, Jenn struggled with wanting to keep up with him and their busy lives that often took them multiple places during the day, outside of the home. However, Jenn found herself being nervous and sometimes hesitant to leave the house because of her mobility challenges.
“I have to get my legs out to be able to shift from my wheelchair to the toilet, and it’s very hard to transfer in public restrooms. It’s hard for me, and I’m a T-12 paraplegic, which means I am very lucky to still have my abdominal muscle strength. Even then, it hurts to reach the toilet. For people with higher level injuries, I don’t even know how they do it by themselves in a public restroom. I know firsthand that it is difficult,” Jenn explained.
That all changed when Jenn’s medical supply provider introduced her to the Cure Medical M14XL Extra Long catheter. Suddenly, the need to transfer disappeared, along with her worries about leaving home for an extended period of time.
“Thanks to the Cure M14XL, I don’t have to transfer anymore and can go out without worrying. The extender tube on the catheter is amazing, and is easy to use,” Jenn added.
The Power of Choice Provided Jenn with More Independence
Unfortunately, many people go home from rehab after being taught how to self-catheterize with only one kind of catheter. They simply aren’t aware that other styles of catheters exist that can vastly improve their lifestyle, comfort in cathing, and sense of independence.
That was the case for Jenn too, and it’s one of the reasons why she wants other moms on wheels to know about the catheter options available to them!
“I only learned about one kind of catheter while I was in rehab. I’m a very independent person though. I was in the military, and very self-reliant, so I want to do things on my own. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about my options for using a different catheter until a long time had passed after I went home from the hospital,” Jenn said.
“Because of my limited knowledge about catheter types, I used to never go out of the house, especially while I was pregnant. Pregnant women will tell you, we go to the bathroom constantly! Since I had a hard time transferring to the toilet, when I did leave my house, I was only willing to leave for three hours at the max,” Jenn commented. “That fear disappeared when I discovered the M14XL made by Cure Medical.”
Until I found the extra long catheter from Cure Medical, I was stuck at home. The M14XL changed my life.
Parting Words of Wisdom from Jenn
Jenn knows firsthand that new moms on wheels have their hands full – literally – with all that’s required in caring for a baby. But she also knows that new moms want to feel beautiful too, after experiencing the body changes that go with giving birth.
She understands too, that sometimes all a new mom wants is privacy, and her sense of self back.
“That’s probably the biggest thing I love about the M14XL catheter. With more independence, I could reach the toilet, leave the house and I don’t need help. It gave me more privacy when using the restroom, and that’s something women really value in a relationship. It feels great to have that freedom and privacy, and I hope more ladies take advantage of that by using Cure’s extra long catheter too,” Jenn added.
Try the Cure M14XL Extra Long Catheter Too!
If you’d like to be one of the first people who get to try out the new, 25-inch long Cure M14XL intermittent catheter, click here to request a free sample!
You’ll receive your sample packet within 2-4 business days of your request.
Have questions? Learn more about the new Cure M14XL Catheter here.
Pay It Forward When You Choose a Cure
When you choose Cure Medical for your intermittent catheters, you are also helping to fund research to find a cure for spinal cord injury. That’s because Cure donates 10% of their net income to neurologic research in search for solutions for spinal cord injuries and central nervous system disorders. This is what truly sets Cure Medical apart from other catheter manufacturers.Founded by quadriplegic Bob Yant in 2008, Cure Medical strives to improve lifestyle options for catheter users by putting their money where their mouth is. Yant is a C4/C5 spinal cord injury survivor, whose injury was caused by a diving accident in Newport Beach, CA when he was 19 years old.
Founded by quadriplegic Bob Yant in 2008, Cure Medical strives to improve lifestyle options for catheter users by putting their money where their mouth is. Yant is a C4/C5 spinal cord injury survivor, whose injury was caused by a diving accident in Newport Beach, CA when he was 19 years old.
Yant has since strived to find ways to make catheterization more efficient, more comfortable, and less stressful for catheter users through the products that are developed and offered by Cure Medical. He also serves on the board of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and is an active fundraiser for the organization.
Learn more about the spinal cord injury research projects that Cure Medical supports at: http://curemedical.com/research-key/