Life after Spinal Cord Injury!

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ―Nelson Mandela

Ben T.  motivational speaker, dad, business man, sports man has been involved in a motorbike accident on the 13th August, 2017. He exploded his T4 vertebrae in his spine leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. There is no one spinal cord injury with the same ‘symptoms’, everyone’s body react differently.

He has been told he may never walk again! But he proved them wrong! This is why I have started with the quote, that it only seems impossible until you or someone else does it. Was it easy?  Not at all! Let see what Ben has to say about his journey!

 Nothing drives me more  than saying I can’t or won’t, it’s like a red rag to a bull , so I decided nothing will be stopping me.  I always knew that my personal accident was all part of a bigger picture. Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person. So I have been dedicated to inspire others and share my journey from day one.  In the past when thinking about anyone in the wheelchair I simply just thought they have lost the use of their legs, I couldn’t imagine what struggles they actually face. Now I know first-hand that not all days are sunshine. Some days are good and some days are rough and need to mentally stay strong too.

 Even being able to sit in a wheelchair and finally wash my body and hair felt like being a bit independent again. I learnt to be happy for little things that seemed so normal before.  You get a different daily routine after the injury, like a bowel routine, that is so important to have right, along with bladder and many more. If one thing isn’t going right it has a knock on effect and can really throw your body into shock and out of sync. I would really like to do something to educate people on what paraplegic actually goes through on a daily bases. It’s not to look for praise, because we do just lead a normal life, it’s just a little harder in places and I think it’s  just a nice thing  to make people aware of it as I never knew what a wheelchair user goes through.


For example, I wasn’t in the chair too long before I started to break out in a sweat and went very light headed. After a few questions from the nurse I went very white thought I was going to pass out © but we learnt a very good lesson.. The cause of this problem was a thing called Autonomic Dysreflexia. In brief autonomic dysreflexia develops in individuals with a neurologic level of spinal cord injury at or above the sixth thoracic vertebral level (T6) and mine is damaged at T4. It causes an imbalanced reflex sympathetic discharge, leading to potentially life-threatening hypertension. In my case I just went sweaty and very light headed! At first I was annoyed at myself,but I soon realised we actually learned something positive and how to prevent it if this happens again. I think the cause to this poor start could of been due to my newly discovered urine infection, which I must add stings like a bugger, although the fact I can feel it stinging has to be a good thing! So overall it’s a positive thing!  I figure the more problems I have whilst in hospital the more solutions I will have when I return home. One step closer to independent living!

Some other days has been filled with so many little tests and challenges that left me buzzing at what we’ve achieved! So to start the day at 6am they removed my catheter, now will I wee myself? Will I feel the sensation of needing a wee? Or will I not feel anything and not go? © well it turns out after 6 hours I hadn’t felt anything so needed to be drained off © now you can use you imagination for this but it’s basically a long straw (very long in fact G) and a bag!. Then the second time round I felt I needed a wee after 4 hours, but from feeling I needed a wee to going was seconds, so I ended up sitting in a puddle! Takes the piss hey @ So after my morning routine ( emptying my bowels ) which you can use your imagination for too, I got to have a shower, this felt amazing! Those little things you take for granted currently seem like a big treat. Then onto my first physio session. Now anyone that knows me well knows that I am very competitive, if they want me to hold my hands up for a 30 seconds I’m going to try for 60! So the sessions went very well and I was doing things that was weeks ahead and I was really proud of myself. Other thing that got me buzzing was an FES machine, and FES bike. This machine is magic you definitely have to try. It really gives your muscles a wake up call. It applies small electrical charges to a muscle that has become paralyzed or weakened, just the right time!

So attending a physio became my daily routine too. But family and friends and socializing with other people can’t be neglected. I really enjoy talking to people, people with injuries or people without, everyone has a story and it’s lovely to just listen and interact. I think so many of us spend so many hours with are heads locked on to our phones these days we forget to speak to each other, it’s just nice to hear what people have to say. These days and good conversations left me in a real positive mood. I always was looking forward to getting a weekend with the children and partner. I made sure the Occupational Therapist learned me how to transfer into a car so  I could pop out with them to do something fun! Sometimes I couldn’t see them for two weeks so just couldn’t wait for a big squeeze from the both and to show them how well I’ve been learning!


 Nothings ever really as bad as it seems and if you look at any negative in your life I bet you could always put a positive spin on it, if you allow yourself to do so.  I was told I would never walk, but that was one group of people’s view on my situation. Do I give up at this point or do I accept I might be in a wheelchair for life and try prove them wrong? I could of given up and sloped into a dark place of feeling life had be cruel, but that’s where that situation ends and it only ever gets worse. A positive mind can make the best of any situation and even if you don’t make any progress it’s still a better situation to get up and try!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *