A biography about a person who suffered severe spinal injury and over came adversity by outdoor activitys, sports coaching and gaining a degree
Life Rolls On; The journey from an AB to a BA.
Is the life story of somebody who suffered severe spinal injury after a fall climbing. Who was left with a high level of paralysis and told he would never walk again. This book explores the journey from being active and able bodied (AB) to gaining a degree and becoming a bachelor of arts (BA). From the transition of adapting to disability, living independently, getting an education and finding a life worth living. To finding new adventures and misadventures on the way including continuing a life long passion for skiing and finding new challenges and ways of enjoying the great outdoors.
The day that everything changed
In order to celebrate the millennium myself aged 25 and friends had arranged to go to Edinburgh to celebrate the New Year. We went up a couple of days prior to the New Year and had a couple of drinking nights in the city. On the morning of New Year's Eve we went into a coffee bar, I remember needing caffeine others may have had alcohol but I certainly didn't. We were walking around the city trying to pass time, and came across a tour for the underground of Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is renowned for its history and paranormal activity. We went into the tour and the first thing we saw was a room clearly locked which looked as though modern day witchcraft went on.
As the tour progressed we were told various ghost stories etc., some of which were very convincing.
I do remember one story where the guy said five or six people in a particular group all fell forward at the same time, all of them said it felt like they had been pushed from behind but there was no one there.
We went to one particular room where there was a stone circle. Most people instinctively stood outside, I went into the middle and the guy said I was stood directly where the energies enter and exit the circle, I thought that was typical.
After we had left the underground caverns I said to my friends I had a really strange feeling in my spine they all made fun of me saying how scared I was whilst underground. I didn't really give it much thought until afterwards. I have always felt it was a premonition my life was going to change and some force made my life change.
We went for a pint, and then decided to find a high point to get a good view of the city.
We came across Arthur’s seat which is near the castle, it is a large mound; on one edge was a rocky face.
My mate decided to climb it and for some reason I followed, the rest of the group took the sensible route and followed the path. I wasn’t a climber and had no safety equipment on which was out of character for me.
It was wet and slippery.
At some point I lost my gripping and fell and broke my neck during the fall, I was conscious at the bottom and initially thought I would die, having broken many bones in my body as I couldn't move.
I remember being conscious and with it enough to be able to tell the paramedics I am allergic to penicillin.
My friend made it to the top after seeing me fall he thought I was dead. He got to the top regrouped with everyone and said what had happened to me, luckily and thankfully other people saw the accident and called Mountain rescue.
By the time everyone else had gotten back down the paramedics were there.
At some point I thought I heard my mother's voice saying ‘not yet’. My mother died in 93.
I do believe I will see her again and this was either a drug induced fantasy or a connection with the afterlife, where she was saying it is not my time yet.
I was taken to Edinburgh Infirmary about an hour or so after having a strange feeling in the underground with suspected spinal cord injury.
My father and partner found out quite quickly and came up to Edinburgh. They must have had discussions with doctors and wanted to get me as near home as possible and under the care of the right consultants so I was flown down to Sheffield spinal injury unit New Year’s Day.
My brother and friends were at a party in my old flat as one house mate stayed at home. I can only imagine the devastation of how everyone close to me found out.
X-rays were taken in Edinburgh which I found horrible to see, seeing the actual damage but thankfully they didn't operate and butcher my neck.
The doctors in Edinburgh decided not to operate and get me to specialists who decided to put me on traction for three months with the intention of healing more naturally.
In that one moment that one slip, that one error was the most expensive mistake I have ever made it nearly cost me my life and changed everything I knew about life.