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Congratulations to Martin Hibbert of the Spinal Injuries Association on completing his Martin’s Mountain challenge and getting to the top of Kilimanjaro.
What Martin has accomplished since suffering spinal cord injury in the Manchester arena terrorism attack is truly impressive. His desire to turn something so terrible – so evil – into something positive deserves to be recognised.
As Martin said his expedition proves that ‘with the right help and support spinal cord injured people can do anything’.
Having climbed a mountain, Martin talks of now wanting to move mountains. The money Martin hopes to raise for the Spinal Injuries Association is intended to help fund regional nurse specialists and counselling to help spinal cord injured people across the country.
Spinal cord injury has rarely if ever had the platform Martin is helping to build.
Good on him.
We share Martin’s frustration that people with spinal cord injury and their basic needs are not visible enough. Too often their needs are not being met.
Thankfully very few people suffer spinal cord injury, and of those that do only a small minority have cause to pursue a compensation claim. A spinal cord injury compensation claim will typically involve the pursuit of millions of pounds in compensation. The need for lifelong medical support, care, equipment, therapies, accommodation, and lost earnings where the injured person is unable to work as they did previously is that significant.
But most people who suffer spinal cord injury don’t have grounds to make a compensation claim. The way they suffered the injury isn’t because of something someone else did or did not do that amounts to negligence.
Those people have the same needs as others to whom often millions of pounds in compensation is paid.
The person without a claim is typically dependent on what savings they might have and the best the State can provide to them. Too often that falls significantly short of meeting the need.
It is a fact that spinal cord injured people often find themselves is perilous situations nobody would regard as right if they were aware of it, or in that situation.
Imagine not being able to move freely or at all; but having to wait to be repositioned properly, or having to wait to be dressed, or waiting to be washed until carers arrive later that day.
Imagine being bed-bound for months because a mark on your skin developed into a pressure sore when you were left waiting in your chair for too long.
Imagine the frustration of calling ahead to arrange basic support when travelling by train or by plane, but then being let down because it isn’t there when you depended on it.
The difficulties that are obvious can also be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of all that spinal cord injury entails. The psychological impact, fatigue and the frustration felt by the injured person and those around them is immense.
We try to make a positive difference to the lives of people who have been affected by spinal cord injury wherever we can. We support anyone who shares that goal.
Martin is right – mountains do need to be moved. The awareness he is raising vital.
To read more about Martins Mountain https://www.spinal.co.uk/news/martinsmountain/
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