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Arthur with thumbs upSPIRIT is the charity dedicated exclusively to the the study and practice of improving the medical treatment and rehabilitation of spinal cord injured people in the UK and internationaly.

our aim is to support all those involved in the various disciplines concerned with the treatment of spinal cord paralysis.

To this end we are working to improve the teaching, training and resources available:

SPIRIT promotes teaching and training at specialist spinal cord centres and the exchange of staff between centres.

SPIRIT supports the establishment of a professorship for spinal cord injury medicine.

Why SPIRIT first began

The majority of patients with complete damage to their spinal cord from injury or disease do not recover and thus use a wheelchair. Most are capable of living life to the lull and making a contribution to society.

Paralysis, following injury or disease to the spinal cord, usually results in multi system dysfunction. This involves medical, psychological, social and financial complications affecting the individual, their partners and families which can be minimized.

With good treatment, many patients who have been involved in an accident and who have partially damaged their spinal cord can recover sufficiently to walk again.

In order to take control of their lives and achieve some form of fulfillment, paralyzed individuals have to be in a good slate of mental and physical health. This requires intensive expert medical treatment and specialized support in the early stages of the paralysis.

Thereafter there is a life long requirement for supervision and treatment.

To maintain a good state of health, he or she will also need to discover inner strengths and learn about new coping mechanisms and strategies. This is where SPIRIT will be able to help. SPIRIT will identify and promote best practices world-wide.

Bringing the best from all over the world

It is true to say that in countries where there are no specialist treatment systems, death due to complications is the almost inevitable outcome, in hospital or shortly after discharge.

Management systems for patients with spinal injuries vary a great deal between and within countries. SPIRIT will identify the best practices and spread the word.

The principles of management and the treatment of patients with spinal injuries are different from those for the non-paralyzed population. The lack of sensation below the level of lesion in the paralyzed person adds another dimension to the difficulties encountered in treatment and management.

The benefits of a global charity

SPIRIT exists for the promotion of research, information exchange, teaching and training in the field of spinal paralysis and spinal injuries. The Charity's aim is to improve the treatment of patients with spinal injuries in both the UK and throughout the world.

As the Charity is not based in any one institution, it is able to support any individual, or any institution, anywhere in the world, with training, teaching and the provision of information and resources for research, provided there is potential to benefit individuals with spinal injuries.

The Charity will promote research into many aspects of paralysis from injury and disease. Although laboratory research will be considered, priority will be given to projects which are directed to the practical management and wellbeing of individuals with paralysis.

Information exchange and non medical research into the social, financial, environmental and other factors which influence the well being of spinal cord injured people will also have the support of SPIRIT.