I wondered when this day would come. When I would be criticised for my recovery.
I’ve sat back and watched a particular person that I know personally send very incorrect messages throughout the spinal cord injury community, and knowing their story and knowing that the majority of what was being said was false, it literally made me feel sick!
So I made myself a promise, to never sugar coat and never bullshit the truth.
The facts are indeed FACTS!
I was greeted with a post this morning on a Facebook page that was set up to support those with spinal cord injuries in Victoria.
Two men (both injured) wrote that “determination didn’t get her where she is, she was just lucky”, the other wrote “I’ve met more determined people then her, it’s just a ploy for her business.” (I’ve never met this person.)
Without having to write my entire story in this post here’s a few home truths!
FACT: I had my injury in Bali, I was operated on there due to the severity of the injury, I was not able to be flown ANYWHERE els.e
FACT: After spending close to three weeks in the hospital in Bali, I was finally flown back to Australia on an emergency flight as I almost died to the poor medical care.
FACT: I had 2 corrective surgeries to correct what Bali doctors had attempted to fix (my head wasn’t secure on my shoulders in Bali) and because of the amount of trauma caused to the spinal cord, as well as the initial injury, my diagnosis was this – “If Rhiannon survives the first 24 hours post surgery, we don’t expect her to get out of bed again, or feed herself again, but be happy she is still here.”
I was OFFICIALLY a C5 incomplete quadriplegic. My spinal cord was severely damaged but not severed.
I was completely paralysed from the neck down and when I woke up, asked my mum to end my life.
Because of her, and because of her belief in me, she instilled, here it is, DETERMINATION!
She made me determined to get past the dark days and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
From then on came years of hard work, many tears, many dollars that saw us almost loose our house, many arguments, many emotional breakdowns, but you’ll hardly hear me use the word LUCK!
I’ve written a post about luck before. It’s bullshit! Am I lucky to believe alive, shit yeah. Am I lucky to be able to stand up and take a few steps? Am I lucky to be living with a spinal cord injury?
Ok so I’m lucky my spinal cord wasn’t completely severed given the circumstances, and I constantly hear the medics telling injured people that being complete means you have no chance of recovery, when I keep watching “completes” doing incredible things that they weren’t meant to be “technically doing”.
FACT: Recovery doesn’t have to mean walking! It means living a greater quality of life, however for me personally MY goal was to walk again. After years of working towards this goal and putting my life on hold, I realised just how much more important having a life was.
I’ve also received an email from a lady who expresses that when I said in the interview “that I had goals and aspirations before I had my injury and have always been a really stubborn and strong minded person, so not getting out of bed wasn’t an option for me”, I was showing “a level of arrogance, was disdainful and lacking in regard and compassion of those with SCI injuries that have just as much guts, strive & determination”.
FACT: The word you overlooked when watching this interview was “I”.
This interview was a portrayal of MY feelings, my personal journey and MY recovery.
Being the founder of a facility like The Next Step requires brains, knowledge and most importantly, passion.
I couldn’t be more aware of the fact that no two injuries are the same, and every outcome is different. But that doesn’t mean your outcome can’t be incredible!
So stop worrying about what I’m doing and saying, live your own life, and what you do with it is up to you, but my choice was to share what I am doing others in the hopes that it would help them see that anything is possible.
Being in the media will always cause scrutiny and important facts that are only important to those with spinal cord injuries (because just like me pre injury, i was ignorant towards the injury) will get left out.
So if you want the world to hear YOUR story, then speak up and start doing something positive enough to have it noticed. I turned negative into positive and thats what I’m aiming to help others to do too!
To watch The Daily Edition interview click HERE