DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

My Account of Having a Spinal Cord Injury in your Twenties

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Francesca Maria Antoniazzi

My recovery at the hospital from a Spinal Cord Injury

My name is Francesca and I am paralyzed from the waist down after breaking my back and damaging my spinal cord back in 2016. The last thing I remember from that day is having a mask over my face and going under for surgery on my back - the next few days were a bit of a blur from all the drugs. All I thought was 'right, this has happened to me. I just have to get on with it'. The next 3 months I spent in hospital having physio and learning how to do all the simplest of things in life: e.g how to sit up straight, how to dress, how to do day-to-day activities in a wheelchair, bladder and bowel management. It was like starting from the beginning all over again. After 3 months of hard work, I was allowed home.

Adjusting to life back at home after my spinal cord injury

My friends and family have been amazing and without their support my recovery would not have been as easy at it was. My friends dragged me out to get my social life back and we went on holiday together. Within 7 months of my injury I was back at work, became ambassador for RGK wheelchairs, I've been up Snowdon in my wheelchair, I've started Para Powerlifting where I have gained a gold medal in the Welsh Open, and a silver medal in the British Championships and another Silver in the Autumn Open. I also play Wheelchair basketball for Anglesey Hawks, Knights 3 and Women's Basketball Team Knight-mares. I have achieved things that I never thought I could and having this injury has opened up so many doors for me. It has made me a stronger person. I can only comment on my own experiences with an SCI as everyone's journeys are different, but I have never dwelled on the fact that I am in a wheelchair. This happened, this is my life, I will make the most of it.

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