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Richard had completed his first year of university and was working during the summer holidays when he suffered a spinal cord injury after falling through a skylight.
“Taking up wheelchair racing was the first thing that I actually chose for myself after my injury,” Richard said. “Everything else was forced upon me as a consequence of my injury and being confined to a wheelchair. Wheelchair racing was a sport that I choose for myself and which gave me a real sense of fun and achievement.”
Richard contacted serious injury solicitor Claire Howard to help him make a compensation claim. Along with his case manager, she advised him to take up sport again and for these activities to form part of his rehabilitation programme.
We encouraged Richard go to Birmingham and attend a Paralympic try out day. While there, he was approached and asked if he’d considered taking up wheelchair racing. He was put in touch with a coach who could train with him at Bath University. Richard was already using the gym there which was set up for supporting wheelchair athletes.
Claire secured funding to enable him to purchase his own racing chair, as well as rollers that allowed him to train at home. To begin with. this was set up in accommodation rented upon his discharge from the spinal unit. However, he’s now purchased a home which is being adapted. The property will include a gym as well as a hot tub to ensure better management of his spasms.
Richard has training with his coach every Friday. He’s also tried other sports, in particular the discus. But while Richard’s good at that, he’s concerned about the strain it’ll put on his shoulders so is concentrating on wheelchair racing. He calls it a sport “that I will be able to compete in for many years to come.”
“The settlement that Irwin Mitchell achieved for me enables me to pursue this sport. The settlement included the cost of racing bikes and other equipment needed to enable me to be competitive in this sport, and not simply the basics for day to day living,” Richard continued.
“I want to compete at the highest level possible. Knowing I have the funds behind me to do this makes such a difference. I really love this sport. The benefit of competing at any level is both physical and psychological. I loved sport before my accident. This enables to me to continue to participate.”
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious back or spinal cord injury as the result of an accident, our serious injury claims team could help you claim compensation. Visit our Spinal Injury Compensation Claims page for more information.
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