A British gymnast has been left paralysed from the neck down after falling 15metres from a hotel balcony.
The 21-year-old woman, who represents Great Britain at trampolining, fell from her fourth-floor hotel balcony whilst attending a student sports festival in Barcelona.
The woman from Poole was brought out of a medically-induced coma and told of the extent of her spinal cord injury and paralysis last week.
This is a tragic accident that has left a young woman in the prime of her life with life-changing injuries.
Sadly there is no cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and the aim of any treatment is to help those affected, adapt to life with paralysis by ensuring they are as independent as possible.
When someone has suffered paralysis due to a spinal cord injury, paraplegia and tetraplegia are the terms used to describe their resultant medical condition. The severity of paralysis after spinal cord injury depends on the level of the injury to the spinal cord.
Spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis are often caused by falls from height. The most common fractures of the spine occur in the thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine or where the two sections meet at the thoracolumbar junction. Men suffer four times as many thoracic or lumbar spinal fractures than women while the elderly are also more at risk due to their osteoporosis-weakened bones.
Loss of mobility and function is, unfortunately, commonplace and it is crucial to ensure that any spinal cord injury compensation claim seeks to assist the injured person with their pain and suffering as well as their rehabilitation in whatever way is appropriate.
Rehabilitation is often key to a full and fast recovery following a serious spinal injury, and it is important to begin the process immediately. In many cases, waiting for the end of court proceedings and the payment of financial compensation can mean that rehabilitation starts too late to make any real difference.
This is one of the reasons why claimants are allowed to ask for substantial interim payments of damages at a very early stage of their claim. Interim payments can be used to pay for rehabilitation which will maximise recovery, improve quality of life and where possible, speed up your return to work.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are proud to be a Diamond Corporate Sponsor of the Spinal Injuries Association, the leading national charity for spinal cord injured people and their families.
For more information on the risk of falling from balconies abroad, please see our earlier blog: Balconies Abroad – What are the Risks?
The Slater and Gordon Spinal Injuries team has access to a network of treatment providers and medical experts with a vast range of experience in helping people who have suffered serious injuries. We can arrange medical treatment, physiotherapy, counselling, retraining, re-housing and many other rehabilitation services. Whatever the nature and extent of your injuries, we will make sure you are in the very best hands.
For a free consultation, call us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are a nationwide personal injury law firm with more than 1,450 staff and 18 offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Derby, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Merseyside, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield, Cambridge and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.