Friends, Family Support Injured Mom-to Be

Friends are organizing a fundraiser for recently paralyzed Chelsea Rush, seen her with her sister Gabriella. Photo by Shannon Brown.
Friends are organizing a fundraiser for recently paralyzed Chelsea Rush, seen her with her sister Gabriella. Photo by Shannon Brown.

Shannon Brown is still unsure what her daughter’s medical insurance will cover. In the meantime, she’s paying out of pocket for acupuncture treatments, which provide pain relief to her daughter, Chelsea Rush.

Rush, 24, a Laguna Beach hair stylist, suffered a traumatic spinal cord fracture in an accident on an all-terrain vehicle in Ocotillo Wells in February. She is now paralyzed from the chest down and without the use of her hands, says a statement from Brown’s friend and Rush’s godmother, Heather Grant-Minchen.

Rush, who is expecting a child on Sept. 1, was air lifted to the ICU at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs and over five weeks underwent two surgeries, according to the HelpHopeLive campaign page started on her behalf.

On April 11, Rush was transferred via air ambulance to Craig Hospital in Inglewood, Colo., where she is currently receiving therapy from as many as 10 caregivers for up to six hours per day, Brown reports. She is learning to navigate in a wheelchair by blowing through a straw, said Grant-Minchen.

Craig Hospital, which specializes in spinal cord rehab programs, was Brown’s first choice for her daughter because it is one of the few hospitals that will accept pregnant patients. “The neo-natal unit at Swedish Medial Center is attached, through the basement to Craig,” said Brown.

Brown sells real estate with Brown and Associates in Newport Beach. She also has a 9-year old daughter and has been travelling back and forth between Colorado and her home in San Clemente.

“She may get the use of her hands back, but we have no idea what the prognosis is,” said Brown, adding that doctors say her daughter’s youth is an advantage.  Brown wants her daughter to remain at Craig until she delivers the baby, a boy who’s already been named Wyatt. So far blood tests and growth rate measurements are “on schedule,” Brown said.

Now friends in the community plan a fundraiser to benefit Rush on June 20 at Mozambique Steakhouse, 1740 S. Coast Highway, with live music by Nick I and a silent auction. Organizers include Grant-Minchen, and Noreen Goodman, owner of the International Salon at Hotel Laguna, where Rush worked. Tax deductible donations may be made and $40 tickets purchased at


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  1. This was a very good story. So sad to hear of such a catastrophic spinal cord injury but happy to know that she is working the bounce back. I have a family member doing the exact same thing and working very hard at a neurological training facility in South Florida called the Center for neuro recovery. You can take a look at the website below. He has already got much function back and is taking steps again for the first time in over three years. I wish the best to you and your family.


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