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Try, Try and Triumph

Call 818.700.5648 to contact the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine to learn more about the Spinal Cord Injury Program.

Andrew Skinner has lived with pure determination ever since a 2004 snowboarding accident in Lake Arrowhead left him paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors said it would be years before knowing how much he’d recover. Yet, after one week in intensive care at a nearby hospital, he moved his arms enough to hug his future wife Kirsten.

Andrew continued to make strides upon transferring to the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine at Dignity Health – Northridge Hospital where he received Occupational, Recreational, Physical and Pool Therapies in addition to Rehabilitation Nursing and Neuropsychology. “I chose Northridge Hospital because it has the best therapists who collaborate to help patients re-gain abilities,” explains Andrew.

Slowly, Andrew regained movement. He completed the Center’s Drivers Preparation Program, went kayaking, flew an airplane and joined the Northridge Knights Quad Rugby Team.

What’s more, he and Kirsten married and had a baby girl. The couple also founded the Triumph Foundation in 2008 to help others with spinal cord injuries. They provide gift baskets and resources to patients at Northridge Hospital, and work with volunteers to make home modifications, including wheelchair ramps.

Last summer, the couple experienced another setback when a storage unit fire destroyed thousands of dollars of the foundation’s medical equipment and gift baskets. The Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club stepped in and donated $10,000 to help replace the items. Soon after, Andrew received a local community business award.

“My injury taught me how to deal with challenges; and life is full of challenges.” says Andrew. “The most certain way to succeed is to never stop trying.”