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Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Not-for-Profit Reveals Startling New Research: One Australian is Permanently Paralysed Every Single Day

PBF Australia, a membership-based not-for-profit focused on spinal cord injury prevention, commits to reducing permanent injury figures through support programs and health and work safety awareness.


Perth, Australia – WEBWIRE
Nigel Barley was only 26 years old when he suffered a permanent spinal cord injury (SCI) and became a paraplegic. Since the accident, he has competed around the globe against the world’s best, and won silver at the London Summer Paralympics.
Nigel Barley was only 26 years old when he suffered a permanent spinal cord injury (SCI) and became a paraplegic. Since the accident, he has competed around the globe against the world’s best, and won silver at the London Summer Paralympics.

Workplace safety is an issue really close to my heart because I used to be one of those people who thought something like this could never happen to me. But paraplegia can happen to anyone; at home, at work, on the road or in the water. Once an injury like mine occurs, the damage is permanent, but with some awareness, this type of injury can be avoided.

Nigel Barley was only 26 years old when he suffered a permanent spinal cord injury (SCI) and became a paraplegic. The then experienced roof tiler from Western Australia had been working in the industry for over ten years, and never imagined that a two metre fall could break his back in two places and change his life forever.
 
“Workplace safety is an issue really close to my heart because I used to be one of those people who thought something like this could never happen to me,” says Nigel. "But paraplegia can happen to anyone; at home, at work, on the road or in the water. Once an injury like mine occurs, the damage is permanent, but with some awareness, this type of injury can be avoided.”
 
According to managing director of PBF Australia – a membership-based not-for-profit that offers SCI support and prevention programs – Martin Browning, Nigel’s story isn’t uncommon. “One Australian suffers a permanent SCI like Nigel’s every day in this country. It can have a devastating effect on friends and family members. Some families can face financial ruin from income loss and an increase in costs associated with treatment and living adjustments,” says Martin. 
 
“That’s why spinal cord injury prevention is so important. The physical and emotional pain that one person can experience can be so great that it can lead to mental health issues, and higher rates of suicide. We urge anyone feeling this way to come to us; we can definitely support you and your family through this and help you to get your life back on track.”
 
While adjusting to the ‘new normal’ after his injury, Nigel decided to take up hand-powered cycling in an effort to “lose a bit of weight”, socialise and stay healthy. His achievements “sort of snowballed from there”, and now include competing around the globe against the world’s best, and winning silver at the 2012 London Summer Paralympics.*
 
Today, with the help of PBF Australia, Nigel is inspiring hundreds of men and women by speaking out about the importance of health and work safety. He hopes by sharing his personal story that spinal cord injury prevention will be on the rise, and people will change any risky behaviour in the workplace to ensure they don’t experience the same fate as he did. 
 
Martin describes Nigel’s story as a “perfect example of how a tragedy can be turned into an inspiring story of determination and strength”. “Living with permanent spinal cord injury doesn’t have to be gloomy. PBF Australia can offer many different services, like support groups and quadriplegic and paraplegic career options to get people exactly where they’d like to be,” says Martin.
 
To find out more about how PBF Australia can help with SCI prevention and spinal cord injury support groups, visit www.pbf.asn.au.
 
Source:
*www.perthnow.com.au
 
 
About PBF Australia
 
Founded in 1984 by world-renowned spinal surgeon and the driving force behind the Paralympics, Sir George Bedbrook, PBF Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create greater awareness for spinal cord injury and reduce the impact and incidence.
 
The organisation provides financial support to members in the event of a spinal cord injury, and offers peer support programs, lifestyle education and employment opportunities to quadriplegics and paraplegics. PBF Australia is committed to demonstrating that life can and does go on after a spinal cord injury.


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 PBF Australia
 Spinal cord injury
 London Summer Paralympics
 Health and work safety
 SCI prevention


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