Student ‘didn’t realise she’d broken her back’ and is now paralysed for life

News

A student has been left completely paralysed after falling off a beach wall and breaking her back.

Rosie Sinclair twisted to stand up from the beach front wall she was sitting on in Portobello, Edinburgh only to fall onto cobbles below.

The 29-year-old felt a popping sensation but did not believe she was badly injured.

However, she quickly saw her condition deteriorate over the next 24 hours.

Rosie had four operations to repair her spinal cord but sadly developed Functional Neurological Disorder (FND).

The condition causes the brain and affected part of the body to stop communicating, leading to paralysis.

Last month, Rosie was finally allowed to return home after spending almost a year in different hospitals.

Now she is now trying to raise £3,865 to buy a lightweight wheelchair after dislocating her arm when using a heavy 19kg NHS chair.

Rosie, who is studying a PHD in English Literature, said: “I was sitting on the end of the wall, lent backwards and fell off onto my back on the cobblestones.

“It felt like I’d fallen onto a balloon and it had popped under me. It hurt a lot, but I could still move my legs and stand up then, so my friend and I said no to an ambulance.

“I would say where I fell off the corner is broken, the concrete has broken away.

“I would like to see it get fixed so this doesn’t happen to anybody else.

“I drove home and went to bed. But the pain got worse and by morning my feet were numb and I couldn’t pee, and I also had a large swelling on my back.

“My sister, who’s a GP, advised me to go to A and E, and I did.

“I walked in, laid down on a stretcher and never got up again because by then my spinal cord had been damaged by the swelling from my injury.”

Rosie spent nine weeks at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh following her accident.

She was transferred to the nearby Astley Ainslie Hospital in June 2020 where she spent nine months before being finally allowed home in February this year.

Rosie had to move from her home in Newington, Edinburgh after it became clear it was no longer suitable for her wheelchair.

It took seven months for her to be suitably housed to her new home by the City of Edinburgh Council.

However, she is still unable to use her kitchen and relies on carers visiting four times a day.

Rosie has now set up her own Just Giving page to buy a custom made light chair wheelchair after struggling with her NHS one.

She said: “Due to my disability I now use a wheelchair full time, and the one provided for me by the NHS is not suitable for my needs.

“It’s so heavy, 19kgs, that I dislocated my right shoulder whilst pushing within 48 hours of being home from hospital.

“The armrests and footplates get in the way, and the backrest isn’t supportive enough for my compromised core.

“I have been really struggling and unable to leave the house.”

Rosie has now had a private consultation to get a personally made wheelchair that will support her back and allow her to get her life back.

Shortly before the accident Rosie had cofounded the Edinburgh Mask Makers project, and continued to run it from my hospital bed.

During this time they made 13,000 free masks for key workers and those in need.

Rosie said: “It gave me focus and perspective in a time when I could have been looking only inwards at my own fear.”

Rosie’s fundraising page has reached lover £7,000.