My name is Alexander Thomas Smith, December 14th 2006 at 14:18hrs, my life changed in an instant!

I’m a marine engineer, while working out in the caribbean in 2006 during some leisure time i went swimming and my whole life changed in an instant.. i hit my head on a sand bank and broke my neck, the sand Snow White and water crystal clear, so beautiful but so deadly…  . The vertebrae at c5 fractured and c6 broke into three parts one of which damaged my spinal cord, leaving me parylsed from the nipples down.

I had my accident on the island of St Maartin, i was flown to the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, along with a broken neck i had salt water in my lungs, this led to secondary drowning. Shortly after arriving in Miami i was medically induced into a coma, where i stayed for 6 weeks during this time i flat lined 6 times. As part of the surgery the temperature of my spine was reduced right down to prevent swelling and further paralysis, this in turn led to hyperthermia. Once out of my coma i was shortly moved to rehab. In total i spent 3 1/2 months in Miami.

“In my leisure time from the cruise ship, myself and some friends went ashore. While one of us was getting the sun beds, i decided to go swimming. I jumped into the sea (Baywatch Style), as I went through the water my head then hit a sandbank the weight of my body broke my neck. I knew then that something was seriously wrong as I tried to swim to the surface. I felt as if I was swimming but my arms were just floating beside me. I could feel the heat of the sun on my back, so I knew I was on the surface but all I could do was shake my head! This drew the attention to my friends that I was in danger. (This all happened in about 30 secs).
I was brought ashore and an ambulance was called. I was taken to the closest hospital on St Maartins where a doctor from the Westerdam was sent to join me. Due to the severity of my injuries I was flown to Miami, I was then medically induced into a Coma.”

I was flown back to the U.K in March 2007, to the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury for a further 3 1/2 months, i was lucky enough to get 5 hours physio a day along with hydrotherapy 2 – 3 times a week – but like every thing, it costs money… so once i was medically fit i moved home on the 20th of june 2007. I came home with an RTI 300 FES bike, this bike warm’s my muscles up for half an hour then the electricity kicks in and fires pulses into my legs working them for me. This has helped maintain the muscle mass within my legs, i have also got the upper torso part that works the biceps triceps and shoulder muscles. Where the lower part works on the “non-moving parts” the upper part will make me stronger and more independent. I also own a standing chair, this allows me to work on blood pressure problems and balance, it also helps re-activate dormant muscles.
Twice a week i had physio at my home, up until November last year (2015). unfortunately this is why i’ve created the web site.. recovery stops when the money does.. physio.. As with all my equipment it’s ongoing expense of which i need all the help i can with, in the hope of walking again, although more about independence over walking (after nine years!), I’ve been really lucky having been helped by those around me, family.. Friends and strangers alike, there’s Regain a sports injury charity specifically for tetraplegic injuries have helped me no end with some very expensive equipment.

As you find yourself living everyday with your injury, people forget the need… The power of just being outside and what it does for your soul, this should have no price (unfortunately it does!), regain made this achievable for me twice! Helping me with half the cost of a off road wheelchair, all this and more at www.alexwillwalkagain.com

Not just a handbook on my life… but an insight into the roads, the routes of my mind, the circle of life… my life of ten years trapped with my mind going round, will it be this way until I’m in the ground? It’s only me and myself that can change that… but not until time itself allows it, maybe that time will stop ticking soon.. Maybe not, only time will tell… reading this you may even start to see me