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.

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