Ed Jackson: ‘Amazing moment’ to walk again

Dragons forward Ed Jackson says walking again was an ‘amazing moment’ after a swimming pool accident left him paralysed.

Jackson suffered a serious spinal injury after accidentally diving into the shallow end of a pool at a friend’s party on 8 April.


Day 74 . Steps . Although I am undoubtably getting stronger the same issues are persisting. My left leg still has a lot of spasticity and I am yet to recruit any power in my ankle and very little in my hamstring or hip flexor. This makes it impossible to take steps without assistance which is starting to get frustrating. I know there’s more to it but it feels as though it’s only these two things standing in the way of me walking again. . At the moment we’re combatting the issue using FES with good results. It’s enabling me to walk with a more normal gait and consequently encourage more muscle memory to take over. Today I had the chance to work with a physio from Odstock Medical Ltd (the company that developed FES). With their expertise and after fine tuning a few things I managed to walk in the bars reasonably smoothly. I’m hoping I can wangle one to take home with me for the weekend. . Today I felt myself getting frustrated for the first time in a while. It just seems that things are moving so slowly now so I took my own advice and looked back through some footage from days/weeks ago. It really surprised me to be honest. Firstly how bad I was and secondly how far I’ve come. Obviously it’s frustrating but bloody hell, in week one and two I was just praying I would get some movement back in my arms and hands so that I could use a chair, now I’m frustrated that I can’t walk on my own….. yet. . Time to refocus on the small stuff and appreciate how lucky I am that I’m able to winge about my walking technique at all. Besides how can you stay in a bad mood when you’ve got a table full of pizza and the suns still out. ✌️ . P.s. Wearing a collar in this heat makes you appreciate why scarfs are such a successful invention….. 😓

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The 28-year-old, who has also played for Bath, Wasps, London Welsh and Doncaster Knights, only signed a contract extension with the Dragons last December.

He told BBC Wales Sport he’s had ‘little wins every week’ in the three months of his recovery and hopes to get full movement back in his arms and legs.

“The biggest elation I had was seeing my right big toe wiggle,” said Jackson.


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“That first time I saw something going to my foot was big. I’d spent a few weeks trying to do it a thousand times.”

“If someone had told me I wasn’t going to play rugby again before I’d of been really confused, but right now I have lot more important things on my mind such as being able to walk again.

“I’ve been told I can never play rugby again, but I give it ten good years and my body was pretty broken anyway.’

 

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