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Placing You at the Centre of Care

Patient Story


November 30, 2023

Spinal cord injury patient on needs with hand supports doing gardening

Before the life-altering incident on the rugby field in February 2022, Matt’s world was one of boundless activity. A passionate sports enthusiast, he immersed himself in rugby, football, and golf. His daily routines included cycling, running, and gym workouts, complemented by long, leisurely walks with his trusty dog. Professionally, Matt thrived as a power engineer, navigating the intricacies of high-voltage cabling and underground systems where he’d be active for up to as long as 16 hours a day.

However, everything changed when a tackle went wrong. Matt’s chin met his chest, resulting in hyper-flexion of his neck, pinching the spinal cord at C3-4. In an instant, he found himself paralysed from the neck down.

The initial aftermath was daunting. Simple tasks like eating, drinking, and brushing teeth required assistance. A C5, Asia D classification with Central Cord Syndrome left him grappling with newfound limitations. Yet, resilience became his ally. Through months of rehabilitation at Hobbs, Matt reclaimed fragments of his former life.

The three stays at Hobbs Rehabilitation marked significant milestones in Matt’s recovery. The initial focus on balance and standing laid the foundation for regaining independence. As months passed, walking became a tangible goal. Walking poles replaced a walker, and the intricacies of gait, balance, and upper body strength took centre stage.

The third and most recent stay delved into refining Matt’s movements. A meticulous approach addressed balance, strength around his right hip, foot placement, and tone management. These improvements rippled through his daily life, enhancing spatial awareness and bolstering confidence in his capabilities.

Throughout every stage of his rehabilitation, Matt had the support from a clinical neuropsychologist. This dedicated professional played a pivotal role in Matt’s recovery journey, working closely to unravel the complexities of his mental and emotional processes. Together, they developed strategies to manage not only his breathing but also his thought patterns during various tasks. This collaboration empowered Matt to manage his tone, providing greater access and control over his movements.

Beyond the physical aspects, the neuropsychologist helped Matt address the psychological hurdles following his spinal cord injury. Matt shared how they tackled challenges head-on, honing in on confidence-building exercises. Together, they navigated the intricate dance between mind and body, especially when faced with activities that initially triggered discomfort.

Today, Matt exudes confidence, reflecting on the progress made in each rehabilitation phase. His tone management not only facilitates activities around the home but also contributes to a newfound sense of well-being. While Matt’s journey has been remarkable, it serves as a testament to untapped potential awaiting discovery.

The path to independence is ongoing for Matt but with every goal reached it not only celebrates achievements but also beckons toward the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.

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