“First the doctors words meant very little to me”
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It happened on 18th December 2012. I had spent an evening out with some friends, near my home in Huddersfield.
The weather was warm for the time of year so I decided to cycle the four mile journey. I was a keen cyclist and it was rare for a day to go by when I didn't go out on my mountain bike. I sought out the most treacherous trails that the UK had to offer, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. Despite approaching 50 years old at the time of the accident, I was fairly fit and cycling and motorsports had taken over my life.
Although it was dark the roads were dry. I can’t remember the exact details of my accident but I was only 500 meters from home when I fell. It seems I had misjudged the jump up onto the pavement and I was thrown off my bike against a brick wall. My bike was unharmed but I wasn’t. An ambulance was called and I was rushed to hospital suffering two cardiac arrests along the journey.
I spent five days in intensive care prior to transferring to the spinal-cord injury ward at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield. When the doctors told me I had suffered a spinal cord injury at C4/C5 level it meant very little to me. They told me it was “still early days” and that although I was paralysed in both my arms and legs it didn't mean that I wouldn't regain movement.
As time went on they told me the same thing, but no movement returned to my limbs. Over time the words “early days” were mentioned less and less, and this was the first time I realised that the movement I had now would be all I’d ever have.
I spent 10 months at Pinderfields before being discharged. I made an amazing group of friends there and often had family visiting me in hospital. Just last year friends of mine in the rally and racing world raised enough money for me to buy an FES Cycle (Functional Electro-stimulation) which I use two to three times a week and helps me considerably.
I now have movement from my shoulders upwards, can move one arm well and have partial movement in the other. I don't have movement in my hands yet but I am extremely keen and working hard to be as mobile as possible.
Only recently have I come into contact with Wings for Life and I will certainly be aiming to participate in the 2016 Wings for Life World Run in England.
Aside from focusing on regaining movement, I enjoy spending time with my partner for life Cay. I also have 3 children and I would love to spend more time with them. Further to that I also aim to get back in a rally Car as a co-driver. I´m constantly reading and prefer travel books in general. I used to travel around the world often before my accident. And I like Motorsport-magazines and Newspapers. I would love to turn the pages on my own…