Following Zara's recovery after the accident
A story of courage and determination
In September 2016 whilst working on Grand Cayman in the Caribbean I went scuba diving with a friend and when driving home I suffered a seizure or TIA. The episode led to me crashing into a concrete post. Thankfully, no one else was involved in the accident, but consequently many people have been and are still involved in my recovery from my life changing injuries.
I received many injuries including a broken neck, complete paralysis on my right side and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). When I arrived at hospital in the Cayman Islands they contacted Ian and airlifted me to Miami where I stayed for a month. Once back in the UK I received intensive rehabilitation for nine months by Livabilty Icanho in Suffolk.
Basically, my brain had split in two severing the nerves that connect your brain to your muscles and I needed to repair and rebuild these connections. I have always had a very sporty background and know I enjoy more physical work. Waking up and becoming aware you are not allowed fluids orally until you learn how to swallow again and you can’t physically use a toilet made me determined to be able to relearn the things that we all take for granted. After all everyone (including me) has had to do it before as an infant.
Treating the recovery process as a job/work has helped me to continue with rehabilitation by trying different approaches to tasks instead of failing and giving up. I took for granted how easy it is to walk around and I didn’t realise how much I used to enjoy walking until it was taken away. It is very hard for someone who is able bodied to comprehend how frustrating it is not to be able to walk at all and being left in a wheelchair wherever the last person put you until another person comes along and moves you again.
As soon as I could take a few steps I knew I wanted to achieve a bigger goal that was walking the length of the UK. So the plan is to walk from John O’Groats to Lands End completing an average of 10 miles per day.