‘One of the lucky ones’

Published date11 August 2022
Publication titleSouthland Express
On Friday, it will be two years to the day his life changed after he had a workplace accident, when loading a cattle truck, which caused a compressed spinal cord at the base of his neck

After surgery, he spent a week in a coma and, at the time, he and his wife Lisa did not know if he would be ever be able to walk again.

Mr Reynolds was then transferred to Burwood Spinal Unit where he stayed for two-and-a-half months.

‘‘I pushed the physios to make me walk again — and they said ‘no, you’re not ready yet’. I told them, ‘Yes, I am. I want to walk’.’’

The accident happened seven months out from the couple’s wedding date — they had to postpone the celebration as they did not know how their life was going to be.

With three sessions of physiotherapy a week, the support of the New Zealand Spinal Trust and a ‘‘hell of an effort’’, Mr Reynolds beat the odds and left the hospital walking.

He still had what was called ‘‘frozen shoulders’’ which limited his movements, however he feels better each day.

‘‘I didn’t actually realise in my own mind that it was my determination that took me where I am. I had to learn to walk again... it is not an easy thing to do.’’

He put his efforts down to the love he had for his wife and three children and with their support he was able to adapt to his new life.

Mr Reynolds could no longer do things he loved, like playing rugby and hunting, but that did not matter when taking into consideration the full picture, he said.

‘‘My life will never be the same again and we realise that. But I am sure I will give a hell of a good shot in trying to make the best I can do with it.’’

When things settled down, they...

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