I wish I could say the change was fast.
It was not, the months in bed, the 3 surgeries, the pain, the agony of being face down in bed for 30 straight days without being able to move. The uncertainty of the future but for some reason I was not afraid, I knew what the doctors were saying was not going to happen, deep down inside I just knew. Maybe I was just young and stupid. Later in 2009 when I destroyed my neck, then I was afraid, I knew then what it took to recover and at 45 you are not as strong as when you 20.
At first it was a really bad diagnosis, no walking, then after the successful surgeries it got better to no more sport and most definitely no more surfing. Dr Hammer was my surgeon he was good and he made the miracle happen. I had shattered 3 vertebrae, T11, T12 and L 1, the worst possible place, not only shattered but a huge displacement the spinal cord was stretched and ready to snap or be cut by one of the loose shards of bone floating around.
He opened me up shoulders to hips, put everything back in place did bone grafts and inserted two 40cm long stainless steel “Harrington rods” onto either side of my spine wired them up sewed me closed and that was it, bionic man for months until the bone had fused and regrown and the rods could come out again.If those 8 hours had been long the next 12 months become an eternity.