Air date: January 26, 2012
Just over 10 years ago, Erica Coulston and her brother were in a terrible car accident. She suffered about the worst spinal cord injury you can endure. Her old life, in many ways, was over. Erica: My parents and my family and friends literally dragged me through the first three months in my in-patient. It was really very difficult. You know sometimes in the medical community hope is this dirty word and I don’t think it has to be. Erica and her family eventually started their own facility, Walk the Line to Spinal Cord Injury Recovery, out of a small house in Ferndale. It is now a state of the art facility in Southfield with an abundant staff and even more abundant hope. Erica: This is a client run and focused program. Here amazing things happen. People’s legs start moving, fingers start moving. Erica runs Walk the Line along side her husband Ira, who’s brother suffered a spinal cord injury as well. Erica: Somebody the other day, she said to me, how did you get so lucky to meet Ira, a guy like Ira? It was easy, I just had to break my neck. Erica, like other Michiganders, worries about the campaign to limit our state’s unique auto no fault law, which currently allows for lifetime benefits to people like herself. Erica: It is unfortunate because the benefits will be capped and you know when you talk about um, I’m 33 and I hope to live at least another 40 or 50 years and that is a very scary thing to think about. At Walk the Line, they hope clients one day leave their wheelchairs in an unusual spot. Mitch Albom: That would be the goal for anyone who comes in here in a wheelchair is that they end up leaving it parked up there on your ceiling? Erica: That’s right. I hope mine will be hanging from there. Turning misfortune into optimism, Erica Coulston brings hope to The Heart of Detroit.