Teacher paralysed during Mini Olympics event at an outdoor pursuits centre
09 July 2012
Glenn Blair-Ford, 45, is seeking compensation in the Royal Courts of Justice for devastating injuries he suffered at an outdoor pursuits centre in 2007.
Mr Blair-Ford was a well-regarded teacher at Wilmington Enterprise College, Dartford. In April 2007 he accompanied a school trip to River Dart Country Park in order to take part in a week of adventure activities organised by CRS Adventures. Teachers and pupils spent the week with CRS instructors enjoying a variety of outdoor pursuits, and on the last night they took part in a 'Mini Olympics' event, which was organised by the staff and was aimed to be a fun sports event.
Mr Blair-Ford took part in a Welly Wanging event - a competition to see who can throw a wellington boot the furthest. Mr Blair-Ford was asked to throw the welly in an abnormal manner using a method which handicapped him. He was asked to throw his welly backwards between his legs. As he threw the welly, he fell forwards and landed on his head such that he broke his neck. Seeing Mr Blair-Ford laying motionless on the ground, everyone soon realised that something was very wrong, and he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
Tragically, Mr Blair-Ford is now completely paralysed from the neck down. He is only able to breathe himself for an hour each day, and the rest of the time he depends on a mechanical ventilator. Married with two children, Mr Blair-Ford now needs 24 hour nursing support and lives in a care home. He is unable to live with his family due to lack of resources.
Mr Blair-Ford says "When my head hit the ground I had a strange sensation, a feeling like my body was shutting down, like a switch was flicked and my body was powered down. I couldn't feel anything and I couldn't move. One of my colleagues had to get my phone out of my pocket and hold it to my ear so that I could speak to my wife. She later told me that I sounded very distressed and scared. I then started to lose consciousness."
Doctors fought to save Mr Blair-Ford's life, and he underwent surgery for five hours to fix metal plates to his spine. He spent a total of 14 months in hospital before being transferred to his current care home.
Mr Blair-Ford's Solicitor, Rebecca Dixon of Stewarts Law LLP, a firm which specialises in acting for catastrophically injured people, is pursuing a claim for compensation against the insurer of CRS Adventures. Miss Dixon says "not only has Mr Blair-Ford suffered devastating injuries, he can no longer live with his wife and family as their home is unsuitable. He faces a very difficult future, and we will be claiming compensation to help him regain as much of his independence and family life as possible. Mr Blair-Ford will never be able to work and is reliant on state funding for his significant medical and equipment needs. Compensation will help to cover the costs of care, accommodation, medical treatment and other expenses that he will incur in the years to come, as well as restore financial security for his family."
For further information, please contact Alon Riza of Stewarts Law on 020 7822 8037 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org