Monday, 04 July 2022

Injured horse rider waits for hospital move

Injured horse rider waits for hospital move

A HORSE rider who suffered a bruised spine in a riding accident has been waiting two months to move to a specialist hospital.

Charlotte Snowden, a professional photographer from Checkendon, was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after coming off her horse during a showjumping competition at Checkendon Equestrian Centre on January 15.

She is due to be moved to the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire but there is currently no space available so she is at the Oxford Centre for Enablement. Ms Snowden, 49, said: “I have been waiting two months to get into Stoke Mandeville. I had a bed and then the person put next to me in the ward had covid and was put into isolation, so I missed the bed, which bumped me down the queue. I’m now third in the queue but that means three female patients have to be discharged before I can go.

“For the past week I’ve been in the Oxford Centre for Enablement, which is amazing. The ladies are doing rehab with me and teaching me tools that will help me when I get home, like how to get out of bed.

“But while this is a fantastic stopgap, the best thing for me would be to move to Stoke Mandeville, where I will be among people with similar injuries and issues and moving on to specialist work to enable me to get home more quickly.

“My spinal cord is bruised and it could take up to a year to heal. It will be a slow process so in the meantime I need to learn how to move about and do things for myself. I’m medically well now, I’m just recovering.

“I have full mobility in my arms but I’m unable to move my fingers. The feeling is creeping back down my spinal cord but this doesn’t mean the return of movement.

“But it is getting better and I’m keeping an extremely positive mindset, including positive visualisation and meditation around healing my spinal cord.”

For Mother’s Day on Sunday, Ms Snowden was visited by her mother Lavinia Bolton, children, Audrey, 16, and Sam, 13, and dogs Marley and Rodger.

She said: “The visit from the children was great. We went to the hospital café and had lunch together.

“It was good to see everyone — it was a really lovely afternoon and a bit of normality.

“I’ve had a visitor every single day since I came in in January, which is just amazing. My friends come in and help me do my hair and we have tea together in the foyer so I do have quite a lot of normality.

“I had my first shower in 10 weeks this week.”

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