Young mother left paralysed after freak accident on bouncing castle
Nicola McDonnell (30) underwent emergency surgery for a broken neck
A young mother has told how she was left paralysed after a freak accident on a bouncy castle.
Nicola McDonnell (30), from Drogheda, Co Louth, was enjoying a Christening party when she suffered the life-changing injury in April 2010.
"It was at a friend's Christening and I was showing the kids how to do flips on the bouncy castle. I had been doing it a while and then I landed and I couldn't get back up. It was a freak accident.
"I couldn't feel my legs or move my upper body. I didn't really think anything of it. I asked for a hand to take me off the bouncy castle and I kept slipping."
Nicola, who has a daughter Letitia (13), was rushed to hospital where she underwent emergency surgery for a broken neck.
"When I woke up the next day, I had had an operation on my neck to put in two rods and a plate to keep my spine in place."
However, Nicola, who had worked in hotel management before the accident, was determined to remain positive during her three months at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire.
"I have a good attitude to life and am positive and like to keep myself busy," she explained.
"I began to go to the Irish Wheelchair Association classes in Drogheda to get to know people and to get involved with a new group."
Nicola and a group of other wheelchair users, dubbed the 'Warriors on Wheels', now take part in what is believed to be the first kettlebell fitness class in the world for wheelchair users, devised by personal trainer Kieran McDonnell.