Injured: 5 April 1995, aged 17, playing for Highveld Park High School.He now lives in Pinetown KZN and is employed by Umhlanga Netcare Hospital where he works as a switchboard operator.
“I have always been very active on the sports field taking part in all the sport I could.
I started playing Rugby when I was in T.P.Stratten primary school playing in a variety of positions. When I started Highveld Park High School the coach told me that I should play right flank, which I played for two years. When I started Standard 8 I was asked to try the hooker position. I enjoyed playing hooker, being right in the middle of all the action.
In Standard 9 I was chosen for the First Team. In the April holidays the first rugby and first hockey teams went for a team-building tournament down to Margate. We stayed at a place called Pepper pots where a number of other schools had also come to stay. In the mornings all the schools would get couching tips and training from different coaches and in the afternoons we would play matches against the other teams.
On Saturday the 15th of April we were playing our last game against a team from Johannesburg. Early in the second half the scrum collapsed and I heard a crack in my neck, and I felt my body go all numb. The medics came and put me on a backboard with a neck brace and took me to the local hospital. The Doctor took x-rays of my neck and saw my vertebrae were out of place. The Doctor then transferred me by ambulance to St Augustine’s in Durban. Later on that Afternoon the Doctor came and examined me and took more x-rays, that was, that was when I found out my vertebrae between c5 and c6 were out of place bending my spinal cord. The Doctor decided to put me in traction for a few days to try and pull my vertebrae straight, when the vertebrae had straightened a little they operated on me and fused my vertebrae and put a plate in my neck. After a couple of days and when I was stable enough I was moved to a hospital in Johannesburg that does rehab for all the people injured in mine accidents called the Rand Mutual hospital.
After I had completed my rehab and was discharged from hospital my parents decided that I had to finish my education, luckily we found out about the Hope School in Johannesburg. This school was catered for the disabled so I managed to complete my matric. While I was at school I was contacted by the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Fund who gave me support. After school I went to stay at home. After living at home for a couple of years I was contacted by a quad home in Pretoria who were looking for another roommate. I had never heard of homes like these and decided to look into these places. Eventually I found the Ashley village in Pinetown were you get your independence back and don’t have to rely on your parents. I also found out that there is more to life out there if you are willing to look.
I have now been working at the Netcare Umhlanga Hospital for the past 6 years. I work night shift as a Switchboard Operator.
Thank you to all who have given me support and Thank you to the fund for all your support and encouragement