It can happen to anyone at any time. Spinal cord injury affects nearly 60 South Australians every year and providing them with essential support services is Paraquad South Australia
Adelaide-born BMX cycling star Sam Willoughby and Newcastle Knights’ Alex McKinnon are just some examples of people who were in the peak of their sporting careers when accidents left them paralysed, changing their lives forever. While falls - from low or high heights - account for 32 per cent of spinal cord injuries in South Australia, motor vehicle and motor bike accidents remain the number one cause among predominantly 18-25-year-old males.
“It can happen to anyone at any time so ensuring we improve their quality of life is paramount,” says PQSA chief executive, Peter Stewart.
For more than 50 years the not-for-profit organisation, located in Dulwich and in various regional locations, has been providing support services to people living with spinal cord injuries, and their families.
“It would be hard for someone who is able-bodied to understand the impact of living with spinal cord injury, so the services we provide are tailored around that transition.”
Services include peer-support advocacy, community nursing and family-support groups. PQSA also runs a technology hub at Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre to reduce the isolation experienced by those in long term rehab and ensures people maintain access to information and connect with loved ones.
“If we can facilitate these services to the greatest level possible, we see fantastic outcomes - people living successful business and sporting lives, and developing great relationships within the community.”
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