Cause: Car accident
Age at onset: 16
Sophie has always been a good student, highly active, into competitive dancing, netball, hockey, tennis and just about everything you would expect for a sports mad teenager. Her life, however, was dramatically disrupted in 2010 when Sophie, holidaying with members of her family in America, was critically injured in a car accident.
She was to spend two months in an American hospital, where she underwent life saving surgery, including having her spleen and gall bladder removed, and was left paralyzed from the waist down. Sophie returned to the UK for a further two month stay in the spinal unit of Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. Sophie spent a total of nine months in recovery and a year away from school.
Sophie is now back at school and back playing sport, having turned her hand to wheelchair basketball for the Leeds Spiders. She credits Back-Up, a charity funded organization that helps people with SCI becoming active in competitive sport, with helping her get her life back together. Sophie, who has since raised funds on behalf of Back-Up, plans to go to university to get a degree in sports psychology when she finishes high school.
Sophie first experienced FES when she used an RT300 at a private physical therapy practice after leaving hospital. “I found it weird, my legs, which were dreadfully thin, were moving but I could not feel it. After a month I started to notice a difference in the muscle tone in my legs, and I was experiencing short term help with spasms.”
This was enough to convince Sophie to explore getting RT300 for home, so she organized a home demo through Cyclone Mobility (Restorative Therapies' UK distributor). “During the home trial I learnt a lot about FES and about RT200 and realized that it would provide me with more complete conditioning. My choice of equipment was going to be with me for a long time, maybe the rest of my life, so I elected to get the one that would give me the most benefit.”
Sophie’s weekly routine includes 2 - 3 sessions on her RT200, twice standing with the aid of calipers, one session with a physical therapist, plus training for and playing wheelchair basketball.
Although she has only had her RT200 for a few months, the benefits of using it include according to Sophie, “short term relief from spasms (although I still need to use baclofen), improved breathing and overall fitness” and this typical teenager added, “I don’t mind my legs looking a bit bigger!”
Sophie has been delighted with the support she has received from Cyclone, “they are really great, showed me how to do my set-up, monitor my progress, and are just a phone call away."
This young lady is obviously determined to live life to the full, and we look forward to being able to provide you with updates on her progress. Go Sophie!