Tag Archives: Shepherd Center

The Strongest Moms Around – SCI Moms


In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, we’ve compiled three videos highlighting moms with spinal cord injuries – moms who seriously can’t be beat in the strength department. As you can imagine, there are certain difficulties that come into the picture when you are a mom with paralysis.

From a busy stay-at-home paraplegic mom in Canada who shares all kinds of tips like how to best use changing tables to a quadriplegic single mom who had her babies naturally, the videos we’ve compiled below are awesome, and would surprise most average people out there who know nothing of paralysis and parenting.

To see how dedicated mothers with spinal cord injuries are, watch our videos below!

Video #1: Canadian paraplegic shows her tricks

Meet Brittney! She is a paraplegic mom of two. In her video, she takes us through her journey of having two beautiful children and raising them from her wheelchair. She also  shares techniques and helpful tips for other mothers who are also in wheelchairs and face the same difficulties, but are able to make adjustments.

And she shares special techniques like buying a crib that opens on the side, so she can put her baby in the crib without any help from her husband. Brittney also made sure to buy a changing table that was lower than her chair so she could still change her babies (and not miss out on those experiences).

And when placing her babies in jolly jumpers, she is able to put her brakes on and carefully put them in the jumpers by her own. Some impressive? It is!

Watch: Raising children from a wheelchair

Video #2: Single mom paralyzed young has babies naturally

Nikki Stamps, a C7 quadriplegic, is the single mom of Cameron and Jordan. Her injury dates back to when she was 16 years old when she had little to no concerns about having children. As she got older, she realized having children was something she really wanted. Her doctors told her that she should have no problems and to not worry.

Nikki birthed two children the natural way and used a monitoring system during both pregnancies to help with the contractions. She could not always feel the contractions because of her injury so the monitoring system hooked up to have stomach and assisted her with that.

And she used a basinet when her children were younger and pushed it as close to the bed as possible so she could pick them up. She would also lean the baby to her body; both babies seemed to have a natural instinct to curl up to make it easier for her.

Watch: Parenting with a Disability – Nikki Stamps

Video #3: Paraplegic mom loves her pool noodles

Meet Jennifer Sexton of Dalzell, South Carolina. She sustained a T-12 spinal cord injury in an ATV accident back in January 2013. After going through the rehabilitation process, Jennifer gave birth to her son Thomas on September 10, 2013.

Jennifer loves using a pool noodle, which aids in picking up Thomas and avoiding bruising on her arm. The noodle allows her to pick him up with a supportive object under her arm. Her husband is also planning to take out the cabinets under the sink so she can get under them easily and take care of Thomas more independently.

She spends her leisure time gardening out back where she has a raised garden making it easier to water the flowers. Jennifer stays positive every day, knowing you don’t have to stop life plans when a spinal cord injury occurs.

Watch: Jennifer Sexton Learns to Parent from a Wheelchair

Are you a mom with a spinal cord injury?  What tips have saved you?

Watch the Videos

Raising children from a wheelchair

Parenting with a Disability – Nikki Stamps

Jennifer Sexton Learns to Parent from a Wheelchair

SCI Superstar: Chelsea Rae Huggins


A woman of remarkable beauty, Chelsea Rae Huggins is the ultimate meaning of keep on keeping on. Once a rising makeup artist who went on to transform her love of painting faces into painting on the canvas, she truly understands the importance of beauty.

There’s power in beauty and in art, and the art Chelsea Rae (also known as SPINALpedia member raehuggins) has created has garnered her a huge following on Facebook. Her purpose in life is without question to help share beauty with the world. A southern girl with big dreams, read on for the transformative story of Chelsea Rae Huggins.

Why she’s fearless

Four years ago when Chelsea Rae was only 22 years old, she was involved in a motor vehicle accident while riding with friends, and she sustained a C5 incomplete spinal cord injury. At the time of her injury, Chelsea Rae was in school studying make-up artistry; something she loved ever since she was a little girl.

But her dreams of one day opening a salon with makeup artists was put on hold. A dream such as this is much more difficult when you’re paralyzed, not to mention dealing with such an image-centered entire industry.

Chelsea Rae went on to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia to complete her rehab and it was where she discovered the magical item that is the “quad cuff;” a leather-covered piece of plastic that slides over the palm and has tiny pockets that utensils can be slide into. Eye shadow brushes, eyeliner, mascara, you name it.

Despite getting quite good at applying her own make-up, Chelsea Rae knows a career as a professional makeup artist may still be out of the cards. This I’m sure was a difficult realization. Instead of pursuing makeup, she’s now interested in a whole new medium – painting.

While a patient at Shepherd Center, Chelsea Rae was turned onto painting. After using her quad cuff to hold the paintbrush and not doing so hot, she held the paintbrush in her mouth and the rest was history. She became so good she now sells her artwork online and at charity events. Her line is simply known as Mouth Art by Chelsea Rae Huggins.

What’s next?

Chelsea Rae hasn’t put her makeup skills forever on the back-burner however. She may no longer be aspiring to become a makeup artist, but she is back at applying makeup and has made a video showing how to do make-up with no finger movement. In a video on the artsy side, check out Chelsea Rae apply her own make-up

Painting however has become Chelsea Rae’s main passion. Beautiful and bright acrylic paintings, her work will cheer you up. She is now one of the many talented female mouth artists living in the United States, including another SCI superstar we’ve profiled, Mariam Pare.

As we always say with every person we profile – we know having a spinal cord injury is not what you planned for – but it’s what you do with what happens to you that matters – and Chelsea Rae certainly is doing this in the best way possible.

It’s never easy being pretty and she’s got it.

– Visit her Facebook page Mouth Art by Chelsea Rae Huggins.

Have you tried mouth painting? How hard it was it?

Watch the videos

Mouth Art by Chelsea Rae: An inspiring look into the life of a quadriplegic

Chelsea Rae: How to Apply Make-up Tutorial (quadriplegic)

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