Patient Stories: 
Colleen Rock

Farmington can be a tough town to grow up in if you're not part of the social scene or play sports, but Colleen Rock wouldn't know anything about that. The outspoken senior at Farmington High School received a plethora of academic and athletic awards and was courted by prestigious colleges.

"My injury has forced me to be more outgoing," explains Colleen.

The blonde athlete experienced a traumatic spinal cord bleed at age 11. An Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM) of the vascular system had ruptured in her spine.

Colleen underwent four hours of emergency surgery.

Doctors told her there was little chance that she'd ever stand or walk again, but Colleen was not about to give up on her future. A year after surgery, she came to Hospital for Special Care.

"Right after my injury, I would walk by a soccer field, and I would just break into tears because I was so sad that I couldn't play anymore," said Colleen. "Now I'm an athlete again, and some of the sports I'm doing now are better than soccer anyway."

She continues to receive physical rehabilitation at Hospital for Special Care on an outpatient basis.

Colleen has taken part in the Hospital's Ivan Lendl Adaptive Sports Camp, excelling in tennis, javelin and discus. She has competed on the Wolf Pack sled hockey team, and her school swim team.

"I love being with my friends and being as active as I can," says Colleen.

As a medal winner in javelin, discus and track and field, the former high school president and honor student maintains her determination to continue living a fulfilling life. Colleen is currently pursuing a Master of Engineering in Computer Science degree at MIT.