Life with a spinal cord injury


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Wings for Life supporter Linda has been living with a spinal cord injury since someone fell onto her in a nightclub when she was out with friends. Here she shares her story and tells us how her injury has affected her life, her hopes for the future and what she likes about Wings for Life.

Please share with us how you sustained your spinal cord injury?
I was in a nightclub in Wimbledon, out celebrating my friend’s 30th birthday. We were just about to leave and I had collected my coat from the cloakroom under the stairs. As I walked towards the door, an extremely drunk man attempted to slide down the handrail of the stairs, and fell over the side, landing on the back of my neck.

Please explain how your injury has affected you and your family?
I still have no movement or feeling below my upper chest and there are other medical complications and effects, such as on my breathing and blood pressure. I have limited arm movement and no movement in my hands or fingers.

My spinal injury had a devastating effect on me and on my family and friends. My family are in New Zealand so took it in turns to come over and support me in hospital. As my previous flat was not accessible, I was discharged to a nursing home. Then after two and a half years of waiting for my life to start again, I finally moved into my flat. I have a full time live in personal assistant that helps me live as independently as possible.

The two things I wanted to continue doing after my injury were teaching and travelling, and I have found new ways of doing both. I was working as a primary school teacher pre-injury and I now have a part time teaching job at another primary school.

Since my injury I have been skiing in Sweden twice, scuba diving in Egypt and to a wedding in Poland. I met my amazing husband Jacques and we got married in New Zealand last year. Jacques also has a spinal injury but some things are just meant to be and without my injury I wouldn’t have met him.

What are your hopes for spinal cord injury research?
My main hope for spinal injury research would be to get my hands back. If there was some way that I could move my fingers I would be able to do a lot more for myself. I would rather have my hands than my legs.

What do you like about Wings for Life and the charity’s work?
I am really impressed with the fact that one hundred percent of any money donated goes to the charity, not the operating costs.  Other charities say this but Wings for Life is able to explain how this is possible and I believe them!