Meg was working as an Outdoor Activity Instructor as outdoor climbing was her overriding passion. Unfortunately, eight years ago and straight after graduating from Bangor University with 2:1 English Literature degree, she had tragic climbing accident. Being an experienced and enthusiastic climber, Meg and a friend planned a day’s climbing on a rock face in Snowdonia.
However, Meg likes to push the boundaries and she chose to lead a climb that was perhaps beyond her capabilities so she chose to descend. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous practice and resulted in her falling and knocking the safety equipment down, causing her to fall approx. 30 feet. Meg’s friend rang the air ambulance and she was air lifted to Casualty in Bangor Hospital.
She sustained serious injuries, including a broken neck, shoulder blade, ribs, punctured lung, collar bone, back at level T7 and a substantial blow to her head when her helmet flew off. Meg was admitted to The Walton Centre in Liverpool’s intensive care unit where she remained unconscious and in a coma for two months.
During this time Meg’s body was under great strain due to repeated infections, and at one time her movements on her right side greatly reduced and doctors told her family that they thought she’d had a minor stroke. Whatever the reason, Meg has been left with general right sided weakness including foot drop.
Meg first came to PhysioFunction more than two years ago and had sessions with our senior neurological physiotherapist, Claire Everett. At this time Meg’s mobility was significantly reduced through lower back injury and severe inflammation of the sciatic nerve. This was caused by Meg’s uneven gait from walking unnaturally due to foot drop. Previously, Meg had been able to walk a short distance using crutches, but now could barely walk at all and was most reliant on her wheelchair.
“Through Claire’s dedication at physiotherapy and Meg’s determination, she is now again able to walk short distances.”
A particular goal in her physiotherapy with Claire was that Meg was able to walk up the aisle as bridesmaid to her twin sister, this was using just FES PACE and without crutches. Due to the break in her upper back, Meg has suffered a lot of back pain that has hindered her walking ability. Through, hard work and Claire’s dedication she is now stronger and in less pain. Claire and Meg are currently working on balance and walking further unaided.
PhysioFunction advised use of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) device and enabled Meg to try it out. Claire wrote a letter of referral for her to receive FES treatment through her GP.
Meg says: “FES has improved my walking technique and relieved my painful back .”
Meg has a very busy lifestyle, she does voluntary work at the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Office in Northampton town centre. She attends, Northampton Headway once a week to take part in Art therapy. In addition, she also enjoys going to the Rockin Road Runner Disco and getting her groove on wheelchair dancing.
In her leisure time Meg enjoys sailing with Sailability at Pitsford reservoir, which is a pastime she also enjoyed before her accident. During the Winter months, Meg likes to go and train with Northampton Phoenix wheelchair basketball team. Claire has been along to watch and support her. Also, she has joined PhysioFunction at a couple of their basketball sessions for clients.