ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Eight years ago, Jim Linnell of Albuquerque had a terrible accident while on a family vacation in Mexico. Linnell fell off a porch and into a hole, suffering an injury to his spinal cord that rendered him a quadraplegic, though as it developed, not permanently.
His memoir “Take It Lying Down, Finding My Feet After a Spinal Cord Injury” explains his two years of recovery and his determination to heal – physically and emotionally – supported by the power of love and dedication of his wife, Jennifer, son Matt, stepsons Hadrian and Jason, and the medical professionals in his rehabilitation.
The 78-year-old Linnell insists he could not have made the recovery by himself. “Nobody does this alone,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s a blessing – I feel that way about myself,” Linnell said. “I can imagine many turns in the road of giving up or of the recovery not working out as well as it did, or that I would not be back to normal.”
Indeed, today his new normal is dealing with spasms, aches and pains, moving around with a walker (and a special walker with pneumatic tires for walking along a nearby South Valley ditch), having a specially adapted van so he can, by himself, place the walker inside and drive.