A man falls. He falls hard. Very hard. His neck is broken. The C1 and C2 vertebrae, the vertebrae at the very top of the spine connecting the spine to the brain, are broken or badly crushed.
His injuries are severe. He teeters on the edge. Minutes, seconds are critical. His wife hears him fall. She rushes to his aid. As luck would have it, it’s a Saturday morning. There’s a hint of spring in the air and neighbours are working in their garden. They hear her frantic calls. They jump their fence and race to her aid. A third neighbour is inside but hears the call for help and responds.
More good luck or is it good management? The wife is trained in CPR. So is one of the neighbours. Two others neighbours completed a first aid course just a week before.
They go to work. They stem the gushing blood. They breathe life into a shattered body. For minutes, then tens of minutes, they work on the man with no sign he is responding.
Paramedics arrive. They stabilise the fallen man. They marvel at the skill of the first aiders. Despite the overwhelming odds the man lives. Despite the odds his brain is intact. Well done first aiders!
In hospital the man must make a profound decision
Welcome to my blog
It is not a diary of the 19 months since my injury. Rather it tells a story of medical advances, amazing technologies for paralysed people and the power of people to help each other that I have discovered in those 19 months. Woven throughout are stories from books that Sue and I published based on Sir Isaac Newton’s insight that the best way to make progress is to “stand on the shoulders of giants”.
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