I Had a Head on Collision With a Planet
On the 28th of April 2017 I had a sky diving accident. I had over 315 good landings and had no plan to tarnish that record. Well not everything goes to plan. My GoPro GPS clocked me hitting planet earth at over 91km/h forward speed and was still descending enough it would seem, according to the footage, to kill me. But I survived! I was lucky enough to get away with a torn ACL in my left knee, a broken left femur, 4 fractures to my pelvis leaving it permanently misaligned and tore the labrum off my right shoulder when it dislocated as I came to rest. My spinal injuries are as follows; Anterior fractures to T6, 7 & 8 and C3 & 4 vertebra. My spinal cord injury is at level C5 & 6 which has left me a Quadriplegic suffering chronic spasms. My son visiting me in hospital for the first time said “ you’ve really done it this time, Dad.” He was right. It broke my heart that I could not put my arms around him and give him a hug. This solidified my resolve, that for what ever reason, the good Lord saved me, I was going to make sure I was as fit as possible to carry it out. So every twitch and pins ‘n needles sensation I worked on relentlessly. If there was sensation then I could get some movement back.
I was in a rehabilitation hospital for 3.5 months. By the end of the second month I was getting vertical in a wheel chair and tilt table. I was learning to walk in the parallel bars and using a walking frame. I was getting mobile! By the time I was discharged, on the 23/8/17 I walked out unaided... It wasn’t pretty but I did it. I went straight into surgery to fix my shoulder that same day. I had surgery to replace my left ACL on the 1/3/18 and now I’m going back into surgery on the 30/4/18 for a Intrathecal Baclofen pump to send my anti spasm & pain medication straight into my spinal fluid. So I can say good bye to the side effects of the maximum dosage of my oral medication, memory loss & confusion.
And say hello to more fluid movement, the return of my once sharp mind, memory and further rehabilitation. I still have a long way to go.
Spinal cord injuries are not for sissy’s.
My medical costs are R9600/Month (€640). Physically you loose your bowel and bladder control. So catheters and bowel regimes become a new way of life. You have to teach every muscle in your body what it’s supposed to do all over again. All through the frustration and constant chronic pain, at levels averaging at 7/10. Some of my goals are; to learn how to swim again and be able strong enough to don a wetsuit and go spear fishing with my son Kyle (10), and dance with my daughter Paige (8). I see a Physiotherapist twice a week for an hour and go to the swimming pool for rehabilitation 3 times a week for an hour each day. I also see an occupational therapist twice a week for an hour and a half. So I’m doing all I can to recover as much as possible.
In the mean time my wife, Nikki has been the rock of our family. She has stuck with me, to my absolute disbelief after all I have put her through, she has done amazingly well. Taking care of the kids, organizing my medical aid, operations, medications and all while starting her own business as an interior designer. Then coming home every night to cook supper. She is one of a kind. My darling Nikki, I’m eternally grateful for your love and dedication. We all have our off days, but you have kept it together. Thank you from all of us Paige, Kyle, & myself.
Due to the nature of my injuries I won’t be able to continue my career as a commercial diver in the offshore industry and so I have to investigate new paths for employment.
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