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spinal cord injury awareness day. 20th may, 2016

19th May 2016

20th May 2016 is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day. 50,000 people in the UK and Ireland are currently paralysed due to Spinal Cord Injury. From our work helping accident victims, we know that this is a truly devastating injury which can be catastrophic and life changing for the injured per-son and for his or her loved ones.

The Awareness Day is an opportunity to raise understanding and funds for people affected by Spinal Cord Injury. Four charities – Aspire, Back Up, the Spinal Injuries Association and Spinal Re-search offer practical help, support and research so that people with spinal cord injuries can fulfil their potential. You can sign up to the charities’ thunderclap (online flashmob) on social media through the following link: www.backuptrust.org.uk/sciaware16

We have learnt a great deal over the years from those who have suffered life changing injury. We are in awe of the strength of character, power of endurance and sense of humour they display in times of adversity. Seeing people (with complete or incomplete paralysis) cope with loss of bowel and bladder function, inability to walk or to unbutton a shirt shows us all that absolutely nothing in life should be taken for granted.

We have witnessed our clients’ determination to get their lives back, go on holiday, drive, live inde-pendently, re- learn how to walk or run (in the event of return of function), to set targets and ‘go for it’.

Cutting edge research has led to robotic ‘exoskeletons’ and pioneering transplantation of cells from the nasal cavity to enable people to learn to walk again. Heroic scientific advances are more than matched by the care and skill displayed by spinal surgeons, physicians, nurses, therapists, other professionals and carers who facilitate the rebuilding of lives.

We have seen the selfless sacrifice of family and friends. For instance, a brother enduring a serious back strain to lift/drag our client and his wheelchair across a beach in Australia to get him to the waves.

We have also, on occasions, witnessed ignorance or thoughtlessness on the part of people who, frankly, should know better. For instance, when we were having lunch with a wheelchair-bound cli-ent and his family, the restaurant manager had not only parked his car in the disabled parking bay but, in doing so, had blocked wheelchair access to the restaurant.

Please spare a thought, spread the word and help ensure a better future for those affected by Spinal Cord Injury.

Paul Fretwell. Solicitor. Partner, personal injury department.
paul.fretwell@georgeide.co.uk
01243 786668

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