Amanda shares her story…
My Story so far….
My name is Amanda Worne (44 years old, married mum of four fantastic children). In 2015, on August 9th I had an accident that would change my life forever. I was out training for a Triathlon on my bike. It was a beautiful, hot, late summer’s morning and I stopped at the top of a very steep hill close to where I live. The view was stunning so I got off my bike and took a photo. Unbeknown to me, this would be the last time I would ever stand. In less than 5 minutes time I would find myself in a broken heap in a thicket of brambles.
On my way down the hill, my brakes failed and I lost control of my bike. I collided with a metal pole at 50mph and broke 11 bones: my collar bone, 7 ribs, 3 vertebrae and also punctured my lung. I knew instantly that I hit the ground that I would never walk again.
After an hour of waiting, wondering whether I would live or die, another cyclist travelling up the hill heard my cries for help and found me. He called an ambulance and I was taken to Brighton Hospital where it was confirmed in an MRI scan that I would indeed never walk again. It may sound strange, but I wasn’t affected by hearing this news. I actually felt so grateful to have been found and to be alive.
I posted a happy selfie on Facebook to tell my friends what had happened but I told them not to be sad and that I would now race them all in a pink wheelchair. From that day, I felt as though I had been given a second chance at life and I was going to live it and enjoy it as much as I could. Up until May 2017 I did just that. I tried many sports including kayaking, sailing, handcycling and horse-riding. I was an ambassador for a national campaign with Will Mellor called Together We Will, promoting and encouraging people with disabilities to be active. I also started scuba diving and working my way towards my PADI scuba diving qualification. I even did a tandem sky-dive on my year anniversary.
My life was better than it has ever been. But then things changed. In May 2017 I contracted a UTI – an infection in my bladder. Very common among spinally injured people. I had been very lucky to escape them until now. It actually made me feel quite unwell. I also started having accidents and my energy levels dropped. Life was so much more of a struggle. I still remained positive but some days I couldn’t go out and do the things I wanted to do.
Even now, 6 months on, I haven’t completely got rid of my UTI and every now and then it rears its ugly head. This is why, when I heard about SMSR I immediately became very interested in the work they were doing. To read that a charity was trying to find ways to eliminate UTIs, and looking at other complications of paralysis, was the sweetest music to my ears.
I decided that if I could become an ambassador for the charity, not only could I benefit, but hopefully be involved in helping other people with spinal injuries to benefit too.
Amanda Worne, December 2017.