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Grant Recipient



Mackenzie was injured in an auto accident in 2012 when she swerved to avoid a deer near her Iowa hometown and rolled her pickup truck into a ditch and suffered an incomplete C5/6 SCI, resulting in quadriplegia. She was 18 and looking forward to her senior year. She danced and cheered across the state and was to captain her team on a summer trip to cheer in Hawaii. She was a nursing assistant and wanted to pursue a nursing degree.

From Mackenzie’s Application:

Mackenzie completed comprehensive rehabilitation at Craig Hospital from July 23 -September 14. She worked hard and showed significant gains and improvement. She expressed the desire to pursue her aspirations of going into nursing; going to college in the fall, living on campus and being independent. We had discussions that it would be entirely possible if she continues to put in the hard work

Craig Hospital recommended Mackenzie return home to continue physical work, finish high school, graduate and then return for an intensive outpatient activity based therapy program, the Neurorecovery Network (NRN).

The NRN program is $15,000/month and she’ll need a minimum of two months, $30,000. The family and hometown supporters have raised $15,000.


The Board of Directors of the Mary and Charles A. Parkhill Foundation for Spinal Cord Rehabilitation unanimously approved a grant of $15,000 to complete the funding for Mackenzie’s NRN program at Craig Hospital.

Summary of Progress

Upon returning home from her initial rehabilitation at Craig Hospital, Mackenzie was named homecoming queen.

Upon completing the NRN program in August, Mackenzie finished her first semester at Iowa Central Community College – taking pre-requisites for the nursing program. She met with the head of nursing after Thanksgiving, however, they are questioning if nursing is an area Mackenzie can pursue since she still does not have full use of her hands. She continues to improve with standing and assisted walking. I think her plan is to apply for the nursing program that starts next fall, and decide before that if she can actually complete the clinical requirements. She is not interested in administrative medical work, so is looking into other medical careers….X-Ray/ultrasound tech may be an avenue she could be successful in.

With assistance from the Best Man and her brother, Mackenzie did walk a few steps as Maid of Honor for her sister’s wedding in September.

Karen, Mackenzie’s mother

Mackenzie’s Message to our Foundation:

Thank you to the Mary and Charles A. Parkhill Foundation for Spinal Cord Rehabilitation, for the grant assistance that allowed me to participate in the Neurorecovery Network (NRN) Program at Craig Hospital for SCI near Denver, Colorado. I spent more than nine weeks at Craig last summer. After my initial evaluation, I completed two sets of 20 NRN sessions (40 days). In between the two sets, I was re-evaluated and improvements were documented. I also completed OT sessions, aquatic therapy, and PT sessions at the PEAK center. During the PEAK sessions, I was able to work on core strengthening, working my abs to help with independent mat/bed mobility, and over-ground training. During my initial NRN evaluation, I could not even stand with a walker for 30 seconds. On my last evaluation, I was able to stand for 5 minutes. The first hour of each NRN session was spent on the treadmill working on muscle memory. Even though the therapists were moving my legs for me, I was easily tired. As I progressed through the program, my endurance improved and I needed less frequent breaks. The last half hour of the NRN sessions was spent improving independent transfer techniques, trying out Power Assist Wheels, and eventually walking with a walker around the gym. With assistance from the Best Man and my brother (groomsman), I was able to walk a few steps down the aisle as my sister’s Maid of Honor for her September 7, 2013 wedding. I continue to do 3 days (3 hours) of local PT to continue walking with a walker and mat work. Thank you for your help towards achieving my goals.

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