Cure Girl Barbara: “My (in)evitable Injury”!


Twenty six years ago my life changed forever. A fall from a swing left me paralysed from the shoulders down. My spinal cord was injured between the 4th and 5th vertebrae following a whiplash just after the bump on the ground. This caused the slip of the vertebrae which injured my spinal cord. It happened as a result of being born with a stiff neck, ie my neck was crooked.

In the late spring of 1987 I was going for appointments with doctors to try to solve my problem. I was told that I needed surgery to remove my malformation, but none of them informed me about the risk of my vertebrae not being in their ‘natural position’. In particular I remember seeing a radiologist’s expression on their face while looking at the x-rays of my neck. He looked extremely worried but did not inform me of the dangers. It’s ironic that the surgeon preferred to operate on me AFTER the summer… my fall was on August 13th, 1987.

If only I knew the seriousness of my problem, the risks I could run and even if I had worn an orthopedic collar on that terrible day… well, I can’t be sure but it may even be prevented.

Now I’m a 37 year old woman who has lost the control of her body and completely dependent on others for all actions of her daily life. I’m also left with many unanswered questions regarding my neck before my injury.

I want to FIGHT now for a CURE for Chronic Spinal Cord Injury. We have to spread the message of urgency… a  CURE or a combination of therapies is not so far away but actions can be taken now to accelerate the researchers jobs.

It’s imperative that we FIND a CURE so that everyone, of all kinds/levels of Spinal Cord Injuries are eligible.

 Cure Girl Barbara