I had a lucky break – I broke my neck and am lucky to not be paralysed.

If you’d like to share a story about similar injury or lucky break, then contact me using the button below, or leave a comment at the bottom:

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Lucky break

Recovering from my broken neck

So, what happened?

Waves come down with tonnes of force.

Bit like a pile driver.

This wave ripped me off my body board and drove me headfirst into the seabed.

There were two loud snapping sounds – like gun shots – and a grind in my neck.

I knew I had injured myself badly.

Messages flew calmly past in my mind as I was thrown around in the water: “I could be paralysed. I could die.”

When I came to the surface, my right arm was paralysed, so I did as all good swimmers do and waved to the people on the beach to attract their attention using my other one.

No one came to help me.

Later, one told me that he wondered if I was a friend waving to him from the sea.

Not the ideal response to a cry for help!

I know that I shouldn’t have got up because of my neck, but no one came.

So, I walked over and stood stock still in front of the first person, and said, “I’ve injured my neck. My right arm is paralysed. Please call an ambulance.”

He looked at me blankly and said, “What’s the number?”

Unbelievable – I had managed to get the only person on the beach who didn’t know the number for an ambulance!

A humbling experience

The experience has been humbling.

It was a spectacular day in Looe in Cornwall – clear blue sky, strong wind from sea to shore, whipping up the waves.

Beach where I broke neck

Looe Beach in Cornwall, just 5 hours before a wave broke my neck

I was humbled by a freak wave: the sea can be so powerful and overwhelming.

Since then, the depth of care by the nurses, doctors and others in the NHS has humbled me.

The love and support of my family, friends, colleagues and employer, SAS JMP, has been humbling.

Getting over my neck injury

I set myself an IMPACT Goal to get back on my feet and recover fully my neck injury as soon as possible.

It was easy to integrate it with my core values – and in fact made me realise one that wasn’t on my list, namely health.

Good health enables us, poor health limits us.

In coming blogs, I share my IMPACT Goal for my recovery from my broken neck as an illustration of how to use the methodology in your setting your own goals to deal with a crisis.

I’d love to hear about your lucky break – either comment below or contact me using the button below:

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2 thoughts on “A lucky break

  1. Bernard, you’re a blessed man. I had a friend within my church that had an almost identical mishap within the surf in water about knee deep while playing with his kids. He didn’t get a chance to tell his story…he left a wife and 6 kids behind. Thanks for sharing your story. You have a purpose to live out whether it’s understood yet or not. Continue the good luck or blessings.

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