Every year more than 15,000 new people in the US suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury. Thousands more will acquire spinal cord damage from autoimmune, infectious, vascular and neoplastic etiologies, of which children make up a significant percentage of the patient population.
Education is key in dealing with the resulting life-changing consequences, which may include paralysis, loss of sensation and the inability to control bowel and bladder function. Teaching can help patients understand what is going on in their bodies and what to expect.
However, there is a dearth of resources appropriate for children to help teach them about the topic.
Medical researcher and illustrator Jeff Day of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine wants to create not only a resource to help children learn about spinal cord injury but make it fun for them via an animated, child-friendly website.
Day and his team will build an educational website to fill the critical void in patient resources for pediatric spinal cord damage patients. Their testing will help inform the goal of creating a fun, engaging site that children will enjoy exploring on their own.
The site will be useful to not only patients and their families, but also can be used to help children’s classmates and peers understand, relate and adjust to patients so that life can continue as normally as possible.
The research will also help the field of medical illustration by providing insight into how children like to learn. In general, few websites exist to help children with chronic medical issues and children are an often overlooked audience.
The campaign’s goal is $3,500 and ends in 7 days.