For advice call 0800 612 8196

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day

Feefo logo

A day for us all to think about spinal cord injury, to think about how easily spinal cord injury happens and to remember that most people have been much closer to a spinal cord injury than they would like to think.

Spinal cord injury in the majority of cases, happens in the simplest of circumstances, a mistimed dive, a fall downstairs or an unfortunate road traffic collision; something that happens on our roads frequently.

The trouble with spinal cord injury is that nobody likes to think that spinal cord injury will happen to them; until it does.

I certainly never thought spinal cord injury would happen to me; I thought I was invincible!

Spinal injury has no respect for age, wealth, or social standing. I need only quote the example of Christopher Reeve.

The actor who many of you will know played Superman and who sustained his spinal cord injury when he was thrown from his horse in the late 1990s.

It was ironic that a man who portrayed Superman was never able to breathe on his own after his injury, let alone walk.

Jonathan Fogerty, Associate Solicitor at CFG is a tetraplegic after his own spinal cord injury as a teenager.

Jonathan dived into the shallow end of a swimming pool. His head struck the bottom of the pool leaving instantly rendering him a tetraplegic, a wheelchair user and paralysed from the chest down.

To mark Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day, Jonathan shares with us some of his tips for adjusting to life after spinal cord injury.

1) Give in to your feelings

It is common to experience a whole range of feelings, grief at the loss of your old life, sadness, anger, and frustration. This is normal. Talk to others. Remember, it’s ok to be not ok.

2) Give yourself time

Recovering from a spinal cord injury and adjusting to paralysis takes time. You don't need to rush. Yes, it's natural to feel motivated and want to embark upon an ambitious program of rehabilitation but you also need to give yourself time to get better.

3) Understand that no two spinal cord injuries are the same

Do not try to compare yourself with others even those who may have a similar level of injury to you or who were injured in a similar way. Everybody rehabilitates differently after a spinal cord injury and the eventual outcome of somebody's rehabilitation depends upon many factors, such as the age of the person on injury, their height, weight, and gender.

4) Accept help

Rehabilitating after spinal cord injury is never easy when done alone. Let those around you help and support you through your journey. Remember accepting help is not a sign of weakness.

Believe in yourself – you will get through this. Sure, it will be tough and there will of course be difficult days but there is life after spinal cord injury – Life with a spinal cord injury is a different life – not the end of one.

5) And finally, make plans and look to the future.

This is difficult in the early stages after spinal cord injury when there is so much else to focus on, like where will you live, how will you get out of the house, but your period of rehabilitation in a spinal injury centre or other rehabilitation setting will come to an end at some point and it is important that when it does, you have other things to focus on in life.

Think about going back to school or college or returning to the workplace.

Are you able to return to the job you did prior to your injury if. If so, great and think about what adjustments may need to be made so that you can do so.

Alternatively, has your spinal cord injury presented an opportunity for you to retrain and to do something different.

Set yourself some goals and give yourself something to do. Staying active and positive after your spinal cord injury will help on your journey.

The main thing to realise is that spinal cord injury rehabilitation does not have to be a lonely journey.

Approximately six people every day sustain a spinal cord injury that will leave them paralysed for the rest of their life .

So, on Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day, let's take a moment to think about those people who will sustain a spinal cord injury today and the long rehabilitation journey that they now face. And let us also think about those nurses, relatives and friends who will be there to support them through it.

Get in touch

Request a callback,
or call 0800 612 8196