We revisit the story of one of our clients, Steve Cook, who, after his spinal cord injury has returned to riding a two-wheel road bike. His life beyond injury story continues to inspire others.
In August 2015, Stewarts’ client Steve Cook, a keen time-trial cyclist and Ironman competitor, was hit from behind by a car travelling in the same direction. Steve sustained devastating injuries including a fractured sternum, broken ribs, spinal fractures at T6, T7, L1, L4, and S3/4 and a spinal cord injury at L1, resulting in paralysis from the waist down.
Steve was the first British person to embark on a six-week rehabilitation programme with Ken Ware of NeuroPhysics Therapy in Australia. This is an exercise-based treatment programme that engages and triggers the body’s natural healing processes through light and controlled resistance training.
Steve was first featured in the Life Beyond Injury news in August 2018, and this article follows on to display the results of his dedication to his rehabilitation.
Life Beyond Injury
After returning from Australia, Steve completed physiotherapy at Prime Physio in Cambridge where he met members of the Rooprai Spinal Trust. Steve’s positive outlook on life post-injury is obvious to all those who meet him. Shortly after becoming an ambassador of the trust, he helped get others to access physiotherapy and show them there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Soon after the settlement of his claim in November 2016, Steve was able to return to swimming and took part in the Children with Cancer UK Swim, a two-mile swim in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. Steve also continues to enjoy swimming with the Water Rats Swim Club.
Next year Steve will be part of a four-man team swimming across the channel, each swimmer completing one hour legs as they cross the channel.
In 2017, Steve took part in the Ironman UK in Bolton using a hand cycle for 112 miles followed by a 2.4-mile swim. This was a huge achievement that left him eager to push for more and to get back onto two wheels.
Just four years post-injury Steve has defied all odds by returning to riding a two-wheel road bike. He has since completed the 100-mile RideLondon, in eight hours, 46 minutes, his longest distance to date.
Steve had planned to complete the Datev Challenge Roth 2020 in Austria. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event has been postponed, but that is not stopping Steve from continuing his home training programme and inspiring others.
Steve completes online video calls for the Rooprai Spinal Trust to provide hope to newly injured athletes struggling to come to terms with their spinal injuries.
The settlement of Steve’s case has meant that he now has a fully adapted bungalow in which Steve, his wife Louise and two children, Charlie and Harry, can spend quality family time together. The property contains a purpose-built gym complete with a swim training machine, Wattbike and supported treadmill where Steve can focus on his training for future charity fundraisers.
Steve says: “The adapted property meant that I could move around freely in my wheelchair; everything being on the same level has made a massive difference. There are no obvious disabled facilities, which was important for me and Louise. It looks normal to the able-bodied person and is amazing for me. It has meant we spend a lot more time together as a family and with our friends. I have friends in wheelchairs who can easily visit us at home.”
This article was written by our Paralegal Demi Newlove
Life beyond injury
We have teamed up with other clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries to tell their stories of Life Beyond Injury. Please visit the Life Beyond Injury webpages here.
We hope that by sharing these stories, newly injured people can see that with the right support they too can overcome adversity to lead full and active lives.
You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Personal Injury pages.
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