In April 2012, 16-year-old Meg Throckmorton suffered a C1-C2 spinal cord injury while preparing for an upcoming competition. Meg failed to complete a round-off back tuck and came down on the back of her neck. Immediately, Meg was paralyzed and unable to breathe on her own. She was airlifted to WVU Medicine with life-threatening injuries. She suffered a break at her C2 vertebrae, fractured her C1, and an MRI revealed that Meg had severely damaged her spinal cord. Within 24 hours, doctors repaired her broken vertebrae, and with the help of The University of Miami’s Miami Project, the doctors at WVU Medicine treated Meg with innovative SCI medical treatments. The doctors gave us minimal hope that the treatments would be successful and told us that Meg would be a high-level cervical complete quadriplegic. This prognosis meant that she would never move a muscle below the base of her skull and depend on a ventilator to breathe for the rest of her life.

As the days went by, Meg’s condition did not change. She was in the Intensive Care Unit in critical but stable condition. Eight days after her accident, Meg had three surgeries: gastrostomy feeding tube insertion, tracheostomy, and diaphragmatic pacer(DP) implantation. A DP is a medical device implanted in a ventilator-dependent patient, allowing them to breathe without mechanical assistance for short periods. All three surgeries were performed to improve the quality of life of a high-level cervical complete quadriplegic.

Meg was transferred to Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, four days later. Shepherd Center specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of SCI patients. Their preliminary plan was to train us to care for a high-level quadriplegic. On day 2 of being at Sheperd Center, Meg started to have small controlled movements, and she never looked back. Over the next few months, she continued to gain movement and strength. By June, Meg began taking her first steps, assisted by physical therapists and overhead suspension lifts. She no longer needed the ventilator or DPS to breathe by late July and became the second patient ever to have her DPS wires cut. Approximately one year after her accident, Meg no longer needed her wheelchair. To this day, Meg is living on her own, fully independent and continues to improve.

The WVU Critical Care and Trauma Institute at WVU Medicine saved Meg’s life. The Miami Project’s pioneering medical treatments gave her the spark she needed to begin neuron recovery, and the Shepherd Center discovered her first movements inspiring her remarkable physical recovery. The chain of events that led to Meg’s recovery inspired the establishment of Mission for Miracles and The Grand Bash.