Susan Clegg loved nothing more than being a pillion passenger on her partner’s motorcycle but unfortunately one day in October 2005 an accident changed all that. They were travelling along a straight road, approaching a T-junction on their left when a car driving towards them suddenly decided to turn into the junction without indicating. There was a collision and both riders on the motorbike were thrown. While Susan’s partner Steve was very lucky not to receive any injury, she was less fortunate and suffered catastrophic spinal damage.
In total, Susan suffered a fracture dislocation of her thoracic spine resulting in complete paraplegia meaning she was paralysed from the waist down. Initially, her spinal and internal injuries were so severe that the doctors didn’t think she was going to make it. She also suffered psychologically, experiencing lower limb spasms with continuous shoulder and spinal pain as a result of the accident.
We drew on the expert opinions of many specialists to determine what Susan would require going forward, receiving advice on such things as accommodation needs, care and case management, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, environmental technology, transport and finances. All this was instrumental in helping us determine the impact upon Susan’s life and her current and future needs.
Now Susan is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life and needs a significant amount of support and help in her day-to-day life. She suffers from short arm syndrome which means she can’t transfer herself to and from her wheelchair on her own.
Before, she lived on her own and enjoyed her job as a cook. Following the accident she decided to move in with Steve and he resigned from his job to become her fulltime carer. With the benefit of an interim payment that we managed to secure for her, they were able to pick out a bungalow that would suit their changed circumstances and make the necessary adaptations required, making day-to-day living much easier.
One of her great joys now is a specially customised motorhome which has been completely tailored to her needs and allows her the luxury of travel at any time. This has been ideal as Susan still suffers a lot of pain from her injuries which are exacerbated by the cold, wet British weather. Thanks to the motorhome, she’s been able to get away from our winters to warmer climates. We’re thrilled that her compensation has been able to let her do that.