Tina Hötzendorfer
Tina Hötzendorfer  © Fritz Hauswirth / Ideenwerk

“I had to start from zero again”

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Almost five years ago, Tina Hötzendorfer was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury after a severe sporting accident.  Despite many setbacks Tina remains positive and determined to find her way back to a normal life. In an interview she shared her story and told us how spinal cord injury has affected her life.

How did you sustain your spinal cord injury?
On a beautiful winter’s day in February 2008 my life has changed completely in one second. I fell while snowboarding and sustained a comminuted fracture of the 6th cervical vertebra. When I lay on the ski slope not being able to move and feeling sharp pain in my whole body, I intuitively knew what had just happened. In hospital the doctors confirmed my suspicions. Complete spinal cord injury! Tetraplegia!

How has your life changed since then?
At first I was not aware that a lesion of the spinal cord not only impacts your ability to move your limbs but causes many other complications and limitations in daily life. I had to learn everything over again:  to eat, to brush my teeth, to get dressed, etc. It was an uphill struggle with many setbacks. But it has always been important to me to get through my everyday life as independently as possible.

What further goals did you set yourself after the accident?
In order to get back to normal life I really wanted to find a job or another fulfilling pastime. At that time, I would not have thought that I could turn my passion for arts into business. Today, almost five years after the accident, I live a very happy life. I always try to stay positive and optimistic even if there are obstacles in my way.

Do you follow developments in spinal cord research and what do you like about Wings for Life?
Absolutely, I am interested in current developments in spinal cord research and also do not give up hope that spinal cord injuries will become curable one day. What I really like about Wings for Life is that 100% of all donations are used for research purposes and that the topic of paraplegia is brought to so many people’s attention through the foundation’s public relations.

For further information about Tina, please visit: www.rollinart.at

If you have sustained a spinal cord injury after an accident and are interested in sharing your personal story, just send a short and informal message to office@wingsforlife.com. We would be very pleased to hear from you.