Alex Toon Case study

“Don’t you worry; this injury won’t stop me”

Prior to my accident, I was a very active teenager, just like any other 19 year old. I went to the gym 4-5 times a week, had a physical job and loved socialising with friends. My passion was mountain biking and I spent a lot of time and money on my bike and cycling equipment.

Me and the guys would plan our mountain bike sessions around our other commitments – it was a great way to spend time with my mates.

Sunday 16th February 2014 was just like any other Sunday. In my cycling gear, I loaded the car up with the bike, spare inner tubes, drink etc, and met up with my mates. Off we went on one of our favourite routes through woodland,  little did I know that this would be the day my life would change forever.

 

Alex toon case study image showing Alex taking on a big jump on his mountain bike

The accident

About 30 minutes into the route, my bike clipped a tree stump and I was thrown over the handlebars; I landed awkwardly and bashed my head. It wasn’t the first time I’d come off my bike, but this time was different. I suffered a spinal cord injury at a level of T10/11. I never thought anything like this would happen, I don’t think any of us do. I spent 2 weeks down in hospital in Cambridge, followed by a 4 month stay in Southport Spinal Unit. During Rehab, I was very keen on my recovery and willing to do whatever it took to maximise what I had, and to be as independent as possible.

An accident like this didn’t only affect me, it also affected my mum, dad, brother, granddad and my girlfriend. Having such a strong family around me helped me massively,  sometimes when I’m feeling low I think, ‘why me?’.

On the 17th June 2014, just as I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I lost my dad in a tragic accident, at the time when I needed him the most. My dad had a hard time accepting what had happened to me, and always worried about my future, as any dad would. I always told him “don’t you worry about me; this injury won’t stop me”;  to this day, I still have this attitude.

Alex Toon case study image showing Alex with the team at Project Walk in Florida

Discovering Cyclone and FES

During my stay in Southport, I came across a therapy known as FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation). Unfortunately, this was not available to me, so I took matters into my own hands and this is how I discovered Cyclone Mobility. Cyclone like to be one step ahead and work hard to research and source the very latest mobility and rehabilitation equipment for their customers. Cyclone encouraged me to try FES, and I soon discovered the range of physical and mental benefits it could give me.

I was determined that FES was going to be a part of my long term rehab. I was very fortunate to have great friends and family around me, who raised the money so I could have my own FES bike.

In January 2015, I set off for a 3 month stay in Florida to attend a place called Project Walk. There are mixed reviews about Project Walk, but for me, I got some great benefits from it, along with a 3 month stay in Florida so who can complain! When I returned from Florida, the time was right for me to start looking at getting back to employment.

In May 2015, I started training with Cyclone to become an FES advisor. FES is a massive part of my life, both personally and through work. I try not to think about the cure too much, as I’m too busy living and enjoying my life, but if that day ever comes, I’ll be ready!

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