Determination and support help Jemima get back in the saddle
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Jemima Green’s life was turned upside down when she was involved in a devastating car crash that left her with severe spinal injuries.
Jemima, a competitive equestrian eventer whose life revolved around horse riding, was a rear seat passenger in a car which was hit head on by a driver travelling in the opposite direction in May last year. Her friend Louiza Covey died instantly, while Jemima and her two fellow passengers suffered major injuries.
Jemima spent seven weeks in intensive care and underwent three gruelling operations including treatment for a significant fracture of her lower spine, which left her dependent on the use of a wheelchair.
Despite the trauma of losing a friend and the severity of her injuries, Jemima showed incredible will, determination and spirit.Now, thanks to her positive attitude to life and the support of those around her, the 27-year-old has been able to ride again for the first time since her accident.She has even taken her first tentative steps, thanks to a revolutionary aid which enables her to stand upright and move forward with the support of mechanical legs.
Jemima has been supported by specialists from BL Claims Solicitors, who are representing her in a personal injury claim and have been involved in many aspects of her rehabilitation.
Through the firm’s personal spinal injury specialist David Healy, Jemima was put in touch with Hobbs Neurological Rehabilitation, which has enabled her to use robotic technology made by Ekso Bionics. Using the equipment supports Jemima’s regular regime of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, Pilates and gym sessions.
BL Claims Solicitors has also secured an interim payment for Jemima which has enabled her to make some alterations to her home for wheelchair access, and to invest in a specially-adapted car which she is now able to drive.
Jemima, of Beaminster, Dorset, says: “At the beginning it was difficult to come to terms with my injuries but BL Claims Solicitors have been very supportive in finding the right people for me – for the case and for my rehabilitation.
“They don’t just look at me as a case, but see me as a person. Sometimes since the accident I have felt I am being judged and questioned about essential equipment to help get back to some sort of normality.
“They have understood that horse riding was my career before the accident and why it remains so important to me. They have even been there to watch me as I have started to ride again.
“In the beginning you start to question what there is still left for you to be able to do, but I have been helped through it by the people around me.
“BL Claims have been there to support me throughout, even if it’s evenings or weekends, and they are very quick to get back to us.
“The interim payment has helped pay for some landscaping and adaptations to help me get out of the house, which has made a world of difference.”
Through Hobbs Rehabilitation, Jemima was introduced to Ekso Bionics, a pioneer in wearable robotics.
The company has produced the first robotic exoskeleton to be granted clearance for rehabilitation purposes in people with spinal cord injuries or stroke, and Jemima is among the first to trial it. She is able to use her hands and upper body to manipulate the suit, which responds by moving its mechanical legs – enabling her to walk.
Jemima successfully took part in a demonstration of the equipment at the Neurological Rehabilitation Exhibition in London and continues to use it in sessions at Hobbs.
“It’s amazing,” she says. “From day one I decided I wanted to get as physically fit as I can be and I have found the exoskeleton great for aerobic exercise, for getting the blood flowing and building bone density, and for balance.
“That’s important to me because I want to work on core strength and balance for horse riding. It’s a really good form of exercise for me.”
Jemima’s commitment to letting nothing hold her back doesn’t end there. Since her accident she has been heavily involved with the Back Up Trust, an organisation which provides support for people who has suffered a spinal cord injury.
She has now signed up to a challenge called The Snowdon Push, which will see her join family and friends to conquer the highest mountain in England and Wales. The team must push and pull Jemima up to the 3,500ft high summit – and back down again, with all proceeds from sponsorship going to Back Up.
Jemima said: “It’s going to be challenge – not just for me but for the rest of the team too! Despite everything, I think the worse part will be camping as it’s not something I’d normally have ever done.”
Watch a video of Jemima's Green's story here.
To support Jemima in her challenge click here.
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