The world's first fully functioning recovered quadriplegic and an inspiration to thousands, Patrick's unconquerable drive has resulted in the achievement of incredible feats! See the national and international recognition Patrick has won below.
Patrick is "recovered", but the following information from Dr. McDonald gives a clearer picture of the physical challenges he still faces every day. In light of this situation, his achievements are even more remarkable!
The Medical and Scientific Viewpoint
By John W. McDonald, III, MD, PhD, Director, International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, KENNEDY KRIEGER INSTITUTE
Associate Professor, Neurology and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
"Why Patrick Rummerfield? The answer is not that his recovery was a fluke or that his injury was a mild bruising of the spinal cord. In fact, Pat's injury was a severe spinal-cord injury, resulting in him damaging C-3 through C-6 levels in the neck with the severest injury at the C-4 level. You can line up nine MRIs just like Pat's MRI and only one of the 10 patients will be walking.
Pat has approximately 30% of his connections left across his injury epicenter, a number very similar to what we learned decades before in animal studies. There are approximately only 15-20% of connections serving Pat's right-side motor function. This correlates very well with Pat's almost absent proprioception (ability to know where your legs are in space with your eyes closed or in the dark) - here Pat has less than 5% of connections remaining."
Patrick is the honored recipient of the following Awards:
- Winner of ESPN's 2000 Arete' Amateur Athlete of the Year Award
- Recipient of the United States Marine Corps "Lead by Example" medallion
- Recipient of the distinguished Human Spirit Award at the 2000 Christopher Reeve's Gateway to a Cure Awards Ceremonies
- Holder of the FIA World Land Speed Record for electric vehicles
Member of the St. Louis Explorers Club, Seventeen years of exhaustive, intense physical therapy, of falling down and getting up, of scabby elbows and knees on the way to recovery give a man time to dream greater dreams. Like becoming the first fully functional spinal cord-injured quadriplegic to participate in Auto Racing.