Rotary Club Of Warwick

Nov7 - Helping those with Spinal Inuries

Helping Spinal Injury victims live a fulfilling life.

Simon Pinnell, a wheelchair user employed by the Spinal Injuries Association told a meeting of the Rotary Club of Warwick last week about his work helping victims to continue to live a fulfilling life following a life changing injury to their spine.

Every eight hours someone in the UK suffers an injury to their spinal cord, adding to an estimated 40,000 sufferers. They may be injured playing sport – rugby and horse riding injuries are common, in a road accident, diving into shallow water, in a motorbike or cycle accident, trip or falls, or through illness. In Simons case, he was hit by a van in 2010 as he crossed the road, resulting in a T8 injury which put him into a wheelchair.

Simon used to work in banking and impressed everyone with his positive attitude to life. Treated at Stoke Mandeville, he initially volunteered with their ex-patient team, which led to speaking at Patient Education sessions and Relatives days, and he coached the NSIC team that competed in the 2012 Inter Spinal Unit Games.

Simon now works for the Spinal Injuries Association as one of two Outreach Services Managers. The Association aims to help those with injuries to continue to live a fulfilled life. His team of 14, all of whom are also wheelchair users, travel across the UK to meet the recently injured and help them adjust to their new lives. He is currently advising on a current storyline in EastEnders helping to make others aware of the impact such injury has on the entire family.

The SIA was established in 1974 and is entirely funded through donations and provides an advice line, nurse advocates, outreach workers, vocational support to get back into work, magazines and publications. For further information and how to donate see www.spinal.co.uk.

Thanking him for his talk Rotarian David Smith said this was an injury that we all dread, and Simon had made us aware of the impact this had on his life.

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Vice President John Hibben presented Simon Pinnell with a donation towards the work of SIA.

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