Annie had a horse riding accident in 2002, aged 54. She was paralysed and fitted with a urethral catheter. Later she had a suprapubic catheter. Some time after her accident, Annie became high sheriff and is now a trustee of Southern Spinal Injuries Trust.
Annie had a horse riding accident in 2002, when she was 54, and became paralysed from her shoulder blades down. She could use her arms and hands and can now push her own wheelchair.
At the hospital spinal unit, Annie was fitted with a urethral catheter. She stayed in hospital for nearly 10 months and, at one point during her stay, was encouraged to try self catheterisation. Her level of paraplegia meant she was unable to do so. Using a flip flow valve, which she also tried, was difficult too. Annie had a urethral catheter for a few months and was fitted with a suprapubic catheter, which she found easier to live with.
After being discharged from the spinal unit, Annie and her husband moved to a flat where she learned to become independent again. She also learnt to drive, and she and husband later moved to a house in the country. Annie’s husband, a doctor, was a great source of support. He also changes her catheter at home every 6 weeks. In 2011, Annie had surgery for a colostomy, which has made her bowel care much easier.
Annie dislikes having to have a leg bag and said that the ideal catheter would be easy to use without needing a leg bag and wouldn’t cause urinary tract infections.
Annie met a lot of other spinally injured patients at the hospital, many of whom are still good friends. Having a spinal injury was a huge shock, which Annie said is particularly difficult to come to terms with for younger people, the majority of patients. She advised others in a similar situation to learn how to cope with their life and then start doing the things that really interest them. She said that, in many ways, she’d become busier after her accident and that her injury had opened new doors. Since her accident, she became High Sheriff for a year and is now a trustee of the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust.