A LUCKY young South Yorkshire woman escaped being paralysed by a ‘hair’s breadth’ – after breaking her back in a horrific fall down stairs.
Natalie Morris, aged 26, had to undergo a drastic seven-hour operation to stabilise her spine and insert metal rods after she tumbled down steep stairs at her terraced home.
Doctors were amazed she could still walk after the fall smashed her T-12 vertebrae, at the bottom of the back.
Natalie, who is still recovering at home, said: “My surgeon told me I was a hair’s breadth away from being paralysed – the break that I did was crazy.
“He said it made his toes curl and he didn’t know how on earth I was walking. I am very lucky.
“The T-12 vertebrae is where you do all your bending and moving for things like putting your shoes on.
“The way I’d fallen it had basically burst and all the ligaments around it had been damaged.
“A doctor who saw me after the fall said he had seen a man who was the same age and had the same accident, but he had to go to the Royal Hallamshire because he’ll never walk again.”
Natalie fell after missing her footing as she went to the toilet in the early hours of the morning at home in Swinton, Rotherham.
She was able to crawl from the bottom of the 12-step staircase to call the emergency services.
The true extent of her injuries was later revealed by hospital scans. Just two days after the operation, led by consultant orthopaedic
surgeon Ranjit Pande at Bassetlaw Hospital, Worksop, the sales support manager was able to take her first steps.
A scar now runs the whole length of Natalie’s back and she has also had to undergo a bone graft from her pelvis.
Natalie, who is now organising a fundraising event to thank the hospital and Mr Pande, said: “A lot of people believed I’d be out for months after the operation.
“I had a district nurse come out for one day a week and I’ve had painkillers and things, but now I can do everything more or less for myself.
“It is unbelievable and that’s all thanks to having the surgery from Mr Pande.
“He held my life in his hands and he saved it.
“I will always have a lasting memory and two scars to remind me, but I have my life and my legs.”
Mr Pande, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, said: “Natalie had an extremely unstable injury to her back following an accident.
“Luckily, there was no injury to her spinal cord so we could stabilise her spine effectively.
“I am very pleased with the outcome.
“Natalie was very brave and positive throughout, and all credit goes to her.”
A charity race night is being held in Natalie’s local pub The Stonehouse, Swinton, on Saturday, June 15.
Money raised will be donated to ward B5 at Bassetlaw Hospital to buy much-needed equipment.
n Email firstname.lastname@example.org to donate a raffle prize.