Megan’s story: ‘Thank you for helping me walk again’

After a “life-changing” horse riding accident 35-year-old Megan Field was left paralysed and told she would never walk again.

The accident in May 2023 damaged Megan’s spinal cord, causing paralysis of her lower legs.

She says: “It was like a light going out where the connection to that part of my body just went. I thought I can’t feel my legs or anything below the chest, nothing.”

After surgery Megan, who is from Trowbridge, started to get feeling back in one of her legs and was later transferred to Salisbury Hospital’s Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre to start her rehabilitation treatment.

She was one of the first patients to use the £29,000 Stars Appeal-funded LiteGait – a supported mobile hoist system that enabled her to practice and build up her strength and confidence walking with and without crutches.

Four months after her accident she was able to walk out of the Spinal Treatment Centre with the help of her crutches and is continuing her recovery at home.

Megan says: “This has been such a life-changing injury, which happened within a split second. I woke up in the morning able to walk and went to bed that night paralysed. You rely on equipment like the LiteGait and the physios to help you with your rehab. As a result of that I’m starting to walk again. When I first had my injury I was told I would never walk again.

“The progress I’ve made would have taken much longer without the LiteGait. Every day on the Spinal Unit Stars Appeal equipment made a difference to my life. It is massively important and supports everything the therapists are doing. I don’t really have the words to say what this has meant to me. Thank you to all the Stars Appeal supporters who have made this equipment possible and helped me to walk again.”

Spinal Centre physiotherapist Elly Marchant, who supported Megan’s rehabilitation, adds: “The LiteGait is something we’ve wanted for a long time because we know how empowering it can be for patients. It is a great addition to our tools that we can use to start people’s walking in a safe environment. This would not have been possible without the generous supporters of the Stars Appeal. Thank you.”

During her time in the Spinal Centre, Megan also benefited from the Stars Appeal Wi-Fi as well as other equipment and facilities funded by the charity, including specialist trainer bikes and the Stars Appeal anti-gravity treadmill, adjustable dining tables and the Silver Lounge, which provides a quiet space and also a place to socialise.

She says: “The free Wi-Fi was a real lifeline as the minimum stay in the Spinal Unit is 12 weeks, so being able to access the internet for free means we are able to keep in touch with the outside world. I used the Silver Room regularly when I wanted a quiet break from the ward environment and to socialise with other patients in the evening.”

To find out more about our projects supporting spinal injury patients click here.

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