In the early hours of 27 December 2012 I had just finished a gig at the Bus Sports Social Club, Cardiff and was carrying my equipment out. Four steps from the bottom of the staircase I missed a stair and fell headlong to the bottom. I fell at an angle because I was tipped over by the gear I was carrying. It meant that when I landed I severely bent my neck, compressing my spinal cord in the process.
Initially I was treated at UHW, but only for a week. I was then transferred to Rookwood SCIC. I don’t recall my week at UCW much, just flashes of things, and the interesting effects of the morphine. Rookwood SCIC was something else. I well remember ‘Mims’ settling me in on my arrival. After I was able to sit up, and then use a chair, I started the daily routine of OT and physiotherapy – with fantastic practitioners who helped, challenged and encouraged me along the way to regaining some mobility. I feel I owe them a lot! The entire SCIC had an incredibly nurturing and supportive atmosphere, patients as well as the nursing, medical and other staff.
My family were pretty much devastated at first, but again once the shock had passed, they were very supportive.
Whilst in Rookwood I received support from the Spinal Injuries Association’s Peer Support Officers Paul Leefson and Tony Stephenson. Just the sharing of experiences, and knowing there was much support available when needed was a great thing. Paul and Tony both helped a great deal, Paul searched out a lot of printed material for me.
At first, the little victories make you extremely proud of yourself – using a toilet normally, feeding yourself… Just 5 months after my accident, I was out of hospital and although still recovering I had written new material describing my experiences, which I recorded in my home studio.