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2 years ago, Crispin, the founder of Kabuto Noodles broke his neck diving into a shallow river in Portugal. He spent over a year in recovery.
19 months ago, Ed Jackson (previously a professional rugby player) also broke his neck diving into a shallow swimming pool at a friend’s house. After being told by doctors he would never walk again, he sought to prove them wrong, and is now not only walking again but is climbing mountains to raise money for the charities that helped him in his recovery.
Realising how lucky he was to make a full recovery and sharing so much in common, Crispin felt really passionate about supporting Ed as much as possible on his journey to recovery. Read on to find out more about their stories.
I was on the train when I heard Ed’s story: how he’d been at a barbecue at a friend’s house, had dived into a pool and hadn’t realised that he was diving into the shallow end. How he’d felt the heavy clunk of the impact and couldn’t move. The rescue from drowning. The trip to hospital. The fear of the injury and the terrible implications of not being able to walk. To going from being fit and active to an uncertain future.
And it brought it all back – how on August 25th 2016 I’d been on a summer holiday with my wife and kids in Portugal. We were on the beach and the kids were playing in the river that flows into the sea whilst I was soaking up the sun.
I got up to play with the kids in the river, ran in, and dived into the river. I felt the horrible noise of an impact as I hit my head. I lay in the river, floating, stunned and unable to move.
Minutes later, I was lying on the beach again, but with tunnel vision and people asking me if I could move my hands and feet. They told me to stay still, stay calm and that an ambulance was on its way.
After a long 3 hour trip to the hospital, I was lying on the gurney in the corner of an empty room. The Portuguese doctor came in to tell me that I’d broken my neck; my C2 vertebrae – sometimes called “the hangman’s break.” But incredibly I hadn’t damaged my spinal cord. It was a clean break, and I should recover.
I remember the fear waiting for the Doctor, just hoping it wasn’t at the horrible end of the scale. I promised myself that if it was a lucky result I would realise how incredibly fortunate I was and that I would appreciate life and all the things we take for granted.
It took 6 months to come out of the brace. It took another 6 months to get back to being relatively active. It’s taken another year to start to feel physically confident again. Amazingly I’m playing football (although not heading it!) I’m surfing again (although not at low tide) I’ve been hiking in the mountains and have started skiing (cautiously!)
I’d been incredibly lucky.
On the train to Bristol again, around a year later and I’m listening to an update on Ed’s story.
Against the prognosis and with lots of hard work he’s regaining the movement they didn’t think he would have. He’s improving and amazingly is able to walk again. Not only that, but he’s hiked up Mount Snowden with 70 people at his side supporting him.
Just as impressive as his physical recovery is the mental fortitude he’s shown. The incredible strength of character needed to come back from an injury like that with a positive mental attitude. Ed focuses on the fact that he’s been given a second chance and that he’s going to make the most of it.
He focuses on giving back to the charities and support groups that have helped him in his recovery. To do this he’s taking on challenges and climbing mountains. Inspiringly, in September he climbed Mount Buet in France and he’s recently been in Nepal trekking in the Himalayas. He does this both as part of his rehab and also to raise money for the charities that help people who’ve had a spinal injury like him.
He also wants to be actively involved with those who’ve had an injury similar to his. To talk to them as someone who knows what they’re going through and giving them hope and inspiration to move forward.
I feel incredibly lucky that my accident wasn’t more severe, as Ed’s was a much tougher journey than my own. All of us at Kabuto Noodles are blown away by his story, his bravery and courage after coming back from a life changing injury like his.
Ed also, embodies many of the characteristics we value at Kabuto: strength in adversity, imagination, a love of being active and appreciation of the outdoor world. All this is why we’re starting to work with Ed. Our aim is to support him on his journey to recovery and to help him carry on doing the amazing work he’s doing with charities. So, keep an eye out for his story across our social media and we hope you can join us in following his journey.