‘A Day in the Life’…of Living With a Spinal Cord Injury

August 10, 2012

Ever wonder how to shop for the perfect pair of jeans or hail a taxi cab from a wheelchair? Well, Frank LaMacchia has all the answers and a four-part video series to show you exactly how it’s done.

Fourteen years ago, he was injured in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Classified as a T5-T6 complete, he was forced to learn how to live life all over again. Now, he is the guru of self-sufficiency and stars in the step-by-step videos titled “A day in the Life,” developed by the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., through a grant from the Kessler Foundation.

LaMacchia saw the videos as an opportunity to help newly injured patients with spinal cord injuries learn how to complete daily tasks independently. Topics include lifting weights at the gym, cooking healthy meals in the kitchen, riding the city bus, grocery shopping and much more.

“It would’ve been extremely helpful if I had those videos when I first got injured,” he said.

So what’s the one piece of advice he would give to others living with a spinal cord injury? LaMacchia had more than one answer:

• You must have patience.
• You must have a positive attitude.
• You must believe in yourself.
• You must accept the circumstances and limitations.
• You must step up and face the challenge.
• You must understand and learn what you’re capable of.
• You must focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t.
• You must be kind and forgiving to others who are not aware or understanding of your situation.
• You must be grateful that you are still alive and able to do whatever it is that you can.
• You must always have hope.

To watch “A Day in the Life,” starring Frank LaMacchia, click on any of the links below:

Home Mobility


Working Out: Part 1

Working Out: Part 2

Community Mobility: Part 1

Community Mobility: Part 2

What skill have you perfected from a wheelchair? Please share your comments here:





3 responses to “‘A Day in the Life’…of Living With a Spinal Cord Injury”

  1. m says:

    your message can apply to anyone bot just sci people I had a stroke 2009 i’mstillkicking thankGod. I wAS at magee in 2010 great place my doc was dr. Young

  2. Laura Conklin says:

    I am an OTA student and have two more months of classes before my fieldwork starts. We were instructed to watch these videos as part of a homework assignment. I am inspired by Frank and his determination not to be slowed down by his injury.

  3. Natalie Caruso says:

    Hi I just wanted to let you know that you are truly inspiring and it makes me really happy to see that you are an independent functional person! I think your videos are amazing and motivational for people who are also facing the same situations that you are!!

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