Rookie Report: Spinal Cord Awareness by Tess – Behind the News

Hello, BTN, my name's Tess (LAUGHS) And I enjoy playing with my sister and just doing normal teenager things

So, on 24th November, last year, I was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, and how I got a spinal cord injury is because of an infection – MRSA And one day I was a happy, healthy girl, and the next, I couldn't feel my legs The spinal cord is your main nervous system in your spine that controls all your fingers, muscles, ligaments, everything, and it's also connected to your brain Your spinal cord is protected by your bones in your spine, which is called the vertebrae I just thought I was getting a cold and I had really, really bad back pain

And I just thought it was normal And I was struggling to breathe I just had flushes, hot flushes I couldn't walk, I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand No heat packs, nothing would help my back pain

My treatment for the infection was I was on antibiotics through a PICC line, which is like a drip in your vein, and I was on that for six weeks And then I started being ableallowed to sit up while I was on my drip

And just learning to roll, sitmove my arms Um, yeah It was very confronting, scary

Like, I didn't know what I was able to do and what I wasn't able to do I It was just very hard and scary 'cause you don't know what your future was going to hold

Whether you were going to get worse, get better, you just didn't know And finding out that you will never be able to walk again is really, really, really scary and hard, because that's what you've known all your life is to have your legs and to be able to do everything with your legs, not just your arms So, I wasn't able to get on my bed by myself, I wasn't able to get in the car, I wasn't able to get on the couch by myself, and doing that and achieving that is a big accomplishment for me Because I When I was in hospital, I didn't think I could achieve it I didn't think I would be here, like, as I am today, being fully independent I thought that I would always have to rely on someone But being able to do this now myself, within only a couple of months, is a big achievement for me

It's a really big achievement And just being able to go outside, go down to the shop, play with my sister, like, it's a really, really big achievement for me, and I'm so proud of myself for where I am today My advice to other kids is you can do anything an able person can do, don't let anyone tell you otherwise It might take you a little bit more time, you might have to do it differently, you might not walk, but you still have a lot of things to give and a lot of opportunities ahead of you Doors open for everyone every single day

Source: Youtube