My name is Adam and I have just spent a little over a week at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH). I decided that I would like to share my story on how I got here and what I experienced.
On Thursday the 14th March I set off early with my climbing partner to tackle Mt Tibrogargen. My partner completed the first pitch without any problems, but unfortunately before I could even get my climbing shoes on to follow her up I experienced a sudden black out and as a result fell 10 metres. I had come off my safety line to retrieve water as it was hot and also my climbing shoes. I felt safe on the large ledge (as long as my brain was functioning that is). I don't have a history of black outs and I had no real warning it was coming so in many ways it is just a little bit of bad luck on my behalf that I had to experience my first one on the side of a cliff for the 30 seconds I was off safety.
My climbing partner called 000 and I was attended by the QLD paramedics, SES, other climbers and the amazing AGL rescue chopper. They stabilised me and kept me going. Everyone involved was awesome - these guys don't ask for a thank you, they just do their job and they do it with a sense of humour. I was flown to the RBWH and underwent a range of tests - CT scans, MRI's, ECG's, blood tests etc. Surprisingly my brain is intact (the wonders of wearing a climbing helmet), my pelvis is intact (quite likely from wearing a tight climbing harness which was padded) and I have no damage to any major organs.
I am pretty lucky all things considered but the resulting injuries were:
1. Burst fractures to C5 vertebrae (a severely broken neck that is close to my spinal cord and hence critical)
2. Transverse process fractures to L1 to L4 (this means lots of little fractures in the bones in my back, but not near my spinal cord so a lot of pain but by no means critical)
3. A fracture in my right hand (minor)
4. Nerve damage resulting from the burst fracture which was causing severe neuropathic pain to be experienced in my hands/wrists.
5. Lots and lots of heavy cuts and bruising.
I was moved to the care of the Orthopaedic Trauma unit at RBWH and thanks to some very amazing surgeons (Steven Yang and Kate Campbell) I have had my C5 vertebrae ripped out and replaced with a titanium cage and plate that now holds my head high. Although there was a risk I could've end up a quadriplegic, the operation was a complete success. Thank you a million times!
I can't say how amazing the whole team at the RBWH was. From the surgeons, doctors, nurses, physio's, wardies, tea ladies even to the volunteers that come in on a regular basis - they are a very hard working team and I owe them a lot for a very quick recovery. As it stands now, it's only 2 weeks after the accident and I am walking quite well and will almost definitely recover fully.
To the entire team at the RBWH - thank you very very very much!
So here's the bit where I could use your help!
I recall 2 separate instances during my 10 days in the Orthopaedic Trauma ward when the most basic equipment (manual blood pressure cuff) wasn't working and the nurse had to waste time going to find one that did.
So my current goal is to raise $10,000 to fund new equipment for the ward. The more money I can raise the more equipment I can help purchase to support the Orthopaedic Trauma unit at RBWH.
These are the guys that will glue you back together if you have a car accident, a sports injury, any spinal related or bone related injuries.
They are an amazing team of people and definitely could use your help!
If you can only donate a small amount, that is still very much appreciated! It does however cost nothing to like and share this on Facebook, so if you can't afford to donate any cash that is fine by me, but please like/share it and the more people who see it the better.
Thanks for reading and I hope it wasn't too boring for you!