On Monday 31st August 2020, Mark Stevenson of Hinckley, Leicestershire was involved in a motorcycle accident while riding through Scotland. The accident took place as Mark was heading out to ride the NC500 on his Kawasaki Z1000SX motorcycle.
On the Bank Holiday Monday afternoon Mark was airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. Mark’s wife, Natalie, arrived at 2:45am Tuesday morning to find her husband in intensive care.
As a result of the accident Mark sustained a T4/T5 level spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis from the chest down. The following day he was transferred to the Princess Royal Spinal Hospital in Glasgow. Natalie spent an hour with Mark that afternoon.
When saying goodbye she had no idea that would be the last time they would see each other until almost a month later. On the 29th September Natalie would be reunited with Mark at Sheffield Spinal Hospital after the most difficult month of their lives.
Mark’s tragedy in hospital
On September 3rd whilst on the operating table, Mark’s lungs collapsed. This lead to further time in intensive care and required 48 hour ventilator support under extreme sedation. Natalie and Mark’s 4 year old daughter had her first day at school on the 3rd September.
A second attempt at Mark’s operation took place on 9th September. Following 9 hours of surgery doctors were able to stabilise his spine. Within a matter of weeks Mark developed an infection in the wound itself. Resulting in weekly procedures under general anaesthetic to have it cleaned and re-dressed. A vacuum pump was required on his wound for four and a half months to help it heal.
Pressure on the family
For 7 weeks, the couple’s 4 year old and 10 month old daughters didn’t see their father at all. When they finally could, it was a short visit in the hospital car park as all due to increased Covid-19 restrictions. Unfortunately Natalie and Mark have received no help from the council aside from the supply and fitting of two grab rails in the bathroom at their home.
A specialist builder was brought in at their own expense and at short notice. The Stevenson’s were able to have a home lift installed as well as other disabled adaptations. The work on their property took place and was managed entirely by Natalie whilst Mark continued to receive treatment and recover in hospital.
Mark coming home
Following months of agonising surgery, treatments and emotional stress, Mark returned home on December 11th 2020. A total of 102 days spent in 3 different hospitals. Fortunately Mark’s return was way ahead of schedule due to showing signs of great progress with his rehabilitation.
Now Mark receives up to 45 minutes of physio every few weeks. Previously it was weekly but has recently be changed. Due to further Covid restrictions Mark’s care following his motorcycle accident has been hindered dramatically. But despite this has continued to show signs of progress.
A sense of freedom and independence for Mark
Just this week, Mark’s car has been fitted with hand controls to enable him to drive without the use of his legs. Unfortunately all specialist equipment required to help people with paralysis live more comfortably comes at a cost. The TEK RMD Machine is an incredible bit of kit but priced at just over £16,000.
This advanced piece of technology allows Mark to move around more freely and offers further options for upright mobility which conventional wheelchairs do not. Mark has also purchased a hand bike which allows him to join Natalie and their children for walks and other days out when restrictions are lifted.
Give Mark a “leg up” – Go Fund Me
On 21st February 2021 Natalie set up a Go Fund Me page to help cover some of the costs of Mark’s assistive equipment. We ask those who can to assist and contribute towards the goal of £20,000. At the time of writing this article Natalie and Mark have raised an incredible £8,516 and this figure continues to grow.
Please click here or use the button below to visit the Go Fund Me page.