Feb 08 21
At all costs do not fall off when rock climbing! Well, this is certainly true when your protection is not going to hold a fall, as it isn’t really the falling off, or the falling that must be avoided. It’s the landing! Landing is bad, very bad!
Ten years ago I found this out the hard way – I landed, on the very hard ground at the foot of a little crag in the Peak district. You may have heard of it, it’s called Stanage. In many ways I’m lucky – I’m still alive – you might say I’m all fixed. But that moment of unluckiness (or was it lack of skill) that saw me falling from a great height, pulling my gear out, and colliding with the ground at high speed wasn’t without cost.
Trauma surgeons are miraculous people. Just look at that little titanium cage that was inserted into my spine to hold the whole thing together! Although I have to say that in my humble opinion, much of what doctors do is about giving your body it’s own best chance of healing itself. Can doctors really “cure” anything?
Probably not. But imagine how brave that guy was to hack into me (removing a rib on the way) and to stick that metal work in to my spine!
And now, they just like to see me once every year or two to take pretty pictures like the one above. Not exactly an Adventure, but a hell of day out from Cumbria, and the picture is quite different from the others on the site huh?
So, all is good, and the teams at Selly Oak and Woodlands Hospitals in Birmingham (especially Mr Thompson and Mr Waldron) and at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hospital in Oswestry (especially Mr El Masri) deserve heaps of praise. Should you break your back – make sure the helicopter takes you straight to one of these guys…
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