The annual World Spinal Cord Injury Day takes place on Saturday 5 September. The day is observed by the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) with the intention of increasing awareness among the general public of spinal cord injury (SCI). It is hoped greater awareness will facilitate a more inclusive life for people with disability and ensure greater chances of success for injury prevention programmes.
The theme for 2020 is ‘Covid-19 and SCI: Staying well’. The President of ISCoS, Dr Harvinder Singh Chhabra, commented:
“’Covid-19 and SCI: Staying well’, the theme for SCI Day 2020, aptly covers the current scenario prevailing in the world today. We are living in a difficult situation, with lockdown and restricted movements across the globe. Persons with SCI are more prone to transmission due to various reasons including low immunity, need for clean intermittent catheterisation and presence of pressure sores in some. The challenges for a person with SCI get compounded during the pandemic because of limited medical resources. In addition, it is not just the medical but also the psychological impact which affects persons in wheelchairs who are confined to their home. It is thus the responsibility of the professionals working in the management of persons with SCI and the community at large to ensure a productive and healthy life for SCI individuals, especially during the pandemic.”
World SCI Day is organised by ISCoS (International Spinal Cord Injury Society). ISCoS promotes the highest standards of care for spinal cord injured throughout the world. Through its medical and multi disciplinary team of professionals ISCoS endeavors to foster education, research and clinical excellence.
The World Spinal Cord Injury Day website can be found here.
Staying well during the pandemic
Following on from Dr Singh Chhabra’s comments, there are a number of initiatives on how spinal injured people can stay well at home or in a socially distant way during the pandemic. Wheelpower is running weekly yoga and fitness classes, for example, which you can find out more about here – WheelPower Café is running weekly fitness and yoga classes.
Also, ‘This is Spinal Crap’ is a podcast hosted by our client Ruth Earley, discussing living well with a spinal cord injury. Season 3 of the podcast has many episodes dealing with the issues that the Covid-19 pandemic has created for those living with spinal cord injury. It also organises weekly drop-in cafés to help connect people, which you can find more about here.
Covid-19 related legal support
We have a number of articles that may help those who have recently suffered a spinal injury navigate the changes to policy and government assistance post-Coronavirus.
Ride for Danny
A team of riders from Stewarts will mark World Spinal Cord Injury Day by taking part in the annual cycling fundraiser for Back Up Trust, alongside HotChillee, in memory of our former partner Danny Turnbull, albeit in a slightly different format than usual. This year, Back Up Trust is asking participants to ride 50km or 100km on World Spinal Cord Injury Day, Saturday 5 September, as a solo event. More information on that can be found here.
Danny Turnbull’s wife Susie explains in this short video how Ride for Danny got started.
Triathlete Claire Danson is taking part in the event this weekend. She recently spoke to ‘Her Spirit’ podcast about how a cycling accident has impacted her life. She mentions the Ride for Danny event in the episode. You can read and hear more about this here.
Life Beyond Injury – our client stories
Many of our clients have inspiring stories of their lives beyond spinal cord injury.
Life Beyond Injury for 81-year-old man following the delayed treatment of a spinal infection
At the time of his injury in 2014, JH was a fit and active 75-year-old who was enjoying his retirement with his wife. He loved walking, and every week went for an eight to 10-mile walk with a friend. After a misdiagnosis of a urinary tract infection led to him not being able to stand, JH was admitted to hospital where he had a scan which confirmed the presence of a discitis and an abscess in his thoracic spine. Read more about his story here.
Horse enthusiast left paraplegic due to medical negligence wins £3m award
At the time of her injury, ST was 44 years old and had her own livery business. Horses were her main passion in life, and she owned 16 ponies. ST spent the majority of her time in the outdoors, either riding, walking her dogs or attending music festivals. In November 2012, she started experiencing back and shoulder pain and visited her GP. After extensive testing over a prolonged period, it was found that ST had a spinal abscess. As a consequence of the delay in diagnosis of her spinal abscess, ST was rendered T3 AIS D motor and sensory incomplete paraplegic. Read more about ST’s story here.
Dale’s Life Beyond Injury story – a spinal injury suffered while serving in the army
Dale was serving in the army when he received the posting he had been waiting for: six months in the Falkland Islands. While there, he was shot in a training exercise accident and suffered a spinal cord injury rendering him paraplegic and reliant on a wheelchair. Read Dale’s story here, or watch his short film below.
More life beyond injury stories
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.
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