Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Take Nothing for Granted - Even Just Putting Your Socks On' Woman Paralysed in Riding Accident Returns to Hospital to Thank Doctors

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Take Nothing for Granted - Even Just Putting Your Socks On' Woman Paralysed in Riding Accident Returns to Hospital to Thank Doctors

Article excerpt

Byline: NAOMI CORRIGAN naomi.corrigan@trinitymirror.com @NaomiCorrigan

A WOMAN left paralysed after a riding accident in Egypt has returned to her hospital to thank doctors who helped get her home.

Olivia Fairclough hit the headlines last year after suffering lifechanging injuries - a broken back, three broken ribs and damaged lungs - in the accident in Cairo.

She awoke in a hospital where people spoke very little English. And to make matters even more difficult, her travel insurance had lapsed so she would have to pay for any treatment she received.

Her brother Trevor subsequently launched a fundraising campaign to pay for Olivia's treatment and get her home.

Olivia before the accident Olivia underwent surgery - she now has three pins in her spine - and four days later she was flown to the spinal unit at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

She was warned she could spend up to a year in hospital but her determination saw her discharged in just four months. Each time her consultant gave her a goal she smashed it in half the time.

Olivia said the thought of being able to ride again and possibly compete in Paralympic dressage was among the things which kept her going.

However, recent X-rays show the 32-year-old from Eaglescliffe has developed curvature of the spine so for now her dreams of getting back in the saddle have had to be put on hold.

"I can be around horses but I can't ride them anymore which just about kills me," she said.

"I'm just urging people not to take anything for granted - even putting your socks on. It takes most people two minutes to get dressed but it can take me half an hour now!" Despite everything she has been through, Olivia is setting herself a number of challenges for the future including finding other ways to get involved with horses. …

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