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Student Paralysed After Falling From Wall Raising Money For New Wheelchair

Jess Hardiman


Student Paralysed After Falling From Wall Raising Money For New Wheelchair

A student in Edinburgh was left paralysed from the waist down after falling backwards on a promenade wall, and is now fundraising for a new 'chariot'.

Rosie Sinclair, 29, had been sitting on a wall at Portobello Beach in April last year when she fell backwards as she tried to stand up.

The University of Edinburgh student broke her back after smashing onto the cobblestones from a height, causing injury to her spinal cord.

Despite four operations to repair her spinal cord, Rosie ended up developing Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), a condition that causes the brain and affected part of the body to stop communicating, in turn leading to paralysis.

Credit: Deadline News
Credit: Deadline News

After spending almost a year in different hospitals, Rosie was finally able to return home on 23 February, and has been trying to raise £3,865 for a lightweight wheelchair - which she refers to as her 'chariot' - after dislocating her arm using a heavy 19kg NHS chair.

Rosie, who is studying a PHD in English Literature, recalled: "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.

Credit: Deadline News
Credit: Deadline News

"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&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, before being transferred to the nearby Astley Ainslie Hospital in June 2020, where she remained for nine months.

Credit: Deadline News
Credit: Deadline News

Shortly before her accident, Rosie co-founded the Edinburgh Mask Makers project, which she continued to run from hospital to help make 13,000 free masks for key workers and those in need.

Once allowed home, she had to move from her property in Newington, Edinburgh, after 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, and now relies on carers four times a day as she's still unable to use her kitchen.

Credit: Deadline News
Credit: Deadline News

Rosie has now set up a JustGiving page to buy a custom-made light wheelchair after struggling with her NHS chair.

"It's so heavy, 19kgs, that I dislocated my right shoulder whilst pushing within 48 hours of being home from hospital," she said, adding: "I have been really struggling and unable to leave the house."

Rosie has already reached her initial goal, so has extended the target to £7,465 so that she can afford an attachment for the chair, which will allow her to take her dog Ruffie for walks.

Featured Image Credit: Deadline News

Topics: UK News, News

Jess Hardiman
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