While much attention is focused on firearm fatalities, the purpose of this study was to determine the expense of acute medical care and the rehabilitation experience of surviving adolescent patients in the USA with spinal cord injury secondary to gunshot wounds. We analyzed a cohort of 19 patients, 18 of whom survived 12 months after spinal cord injury. The need for primary medical care related to the injury, current work and scholastic status, and satisfaction with the quality of rehabilitation were determined. Ten were not involved in any type of academic or meaningful activity, five had returned to school, three were undergoing rehabilitation, and one patient died. Major complications were present in 14 of the 18 patients. Thus, despite a high survival rate after spinal cord injury in this USA population, considerable long-term disability persists, and survivors report a low level of satisfaction with life.