Contributed by Woodbridge Rugby Club
19/11/2020 - London Norwich Spine
Pain can often be a part of life for intense athletes, but for 25 year old avid rider Chris Lake, a sporting accident in September 2020 had devastating consequences leaving him with serious injuries to the neck and back and in need of emergency treatment.
Two months on Chris, from Dersingham, still suffers from restricted movement in his neck and is unable to ride his bikes but is making good progress towards recovery.
He credits his lucky escape to the exceptional care he received from Spinal Surgeon Mr Am Rai, who heads the London Norwich Spine Clinic and who Chris attributes to saving his life.
Chris explains: “I was at a bike park riding some trails and dirt jumps. Towards the end of a trail I went over a small jump and caught the take-off wrong which threw me over the handlebars of my bike causing catastrophic injuries to my neck and back.
“I heard a crack and instantly was unable to feel anything. My brother ran over and asked if I was okay and my first three words were “call an ambulance” – I would usually be the last person to say that. Most of the time I would try and get up and shake it off, however I have watched programs about paramedics and neck/back injuries and how one wrong move can be life changing, so I remained in the exact position I fell in, on my back, until the ambulance arrived.”
Following his admission to hospital, Chris was diagnosed with an unstable fracture on the C6 and C7 vertebrae in his neck and a small fracture on three vertebrates in his back.
Chris was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and due to the severity of the injuries, had to undergo two surgical operations. The first to stabilise the vertebrae accessing from the front of his neck, as there was extreme risk of paralysis due to the nature of the break. The second was a large cut down his spine to add plates and screws to fuse together the vertebrae to allow healing.
Today Chris is making good progress towards recovery and dreams of resuming his favourite sport and being able to compete once more in local and national motocross championships.
“Mr Rai has saved my life and allowed me to walk again. I will forever owe him for what he did, there is no way you can repay somebody in the way that he deserves. Not only his treatment but his attitude towards what he does is phenomenal and his confidence in his own work made me feel very safe in his hands from start to finish.
“I was told I’m very lucky to be walking. For that I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am that he was on call that night.”
The London Norwich Spine Clinic was founded by Mr Rai in 2003 to give patients with spinal conditions access to the best surgical care.
Headquartered in Norwich, and with state-of-the-art facilities in London, the clinic specialises in treating a wide range of problems, including disc herniations in the neck and lower back, spinal deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis in adults and children, plus trauma, infections and tumours. With access to world-class diagnostic equipment, the specialist clinic offers both conservative and surgical techniques, providing innovative solutions and personalised care for patients from across the UK and abroad.
For more information about the amazing work that Dr Rai and his team carry out please visit the London Norwich Spine website
Photo credit: AH photography
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