Amanda Sorrill, physical therapist, works with Narcia Ridenour on practicing stairs.

Life Care Center of Hendersonville, North Carolina, recently got to be part of Narcia Ridenour’s amazing journey of recovery from partial paraplegia.


Ridenour suffers from scoliosis, a condition that causes the spine to curve sideways instead of straight. In May 2014, she had her first back surgery, which was followed by another one in November 2014, another one in December 2014 and a fourth one in December 2015. In January 2016, she went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical Center for examination by a team of doctors.


After assessing Ridenour’s spine, the doctors decided she needed surgery on a compression fracture of the spine… the next day.


“I was informed there was a strong possibility of no walking, paralysis from the waist down because the spinal cord does not heal like the rest of the body,” Ridenour remembered. “After surgery, the surgeon talked to my husband and explained the screws from previous surgeries were pulling out from the bone due to the bones being weak.”


From there, it was watch and wait. Ridenour’s vital signs were good, but she could not move from the waist down. Her memory was also diminished due to being put on narcotics, but once she was taken off this medication, her cognition improved tremendously.


The next step in Ridenour’s recovery happened after the surgeon noticed her moving her big toe during one of his follow-up visits. She went to a therapy center in Asheville, North Carolina, for five to six weeks, where she regained just enough mobility to stand.


When she was ready to move closer to home, Ridenour came to Life Care Center of Hendersonville, North Carolina, on Feb. 24, to continue her rehabilitation journey. She needed complete assistance with all types of mobility and self-care, from walking to getting out of bed to bathing and getting dressed. Physical and occupational therapists worked with her in an intense and supportive rehab program.


On May 12, 2016, Ridenour was independent enough to return home with home health care services, and on July 1, she returned to Life Care Center of Hendersonville for outpatient therapy to increase her independence further.


“I have made the trip from having the ability to only move my big toe to currently walking on a walker,” said Ridenour. “Regaining balance with a cane is my next goal. Several of my doctors have called and cannot explain how this is happening and are calling me The Miracle Child. I always give credit to God, but in addition to God, the reason I can perform the way I currently am is because of the physical therapy I am receiving from Amanda Sorrill and occupational therapy from Paige Warwick.”


Ridenour added, “I have had really good sessions with other therapists at Life Care, but Amanda has been my assigned physical therapist from the beginning, and she has always treated me with a smile and hard work, like a patient and not a number.”