In December 2009, Heidi was out riding her motorbike when she decided to go the less travelled route to the shops to pick up a few things. Just a few streets from home Heidi was t-boned by a ute that failed to give way at a roundabout.
The crash left Heidi a T4 paraplegic, paralysed from the chest down. Heidi spent seven months in spinal rehabilitation in hospital, the last month was to simply wait for her house to be modified.
Heidi and her mother Jenni worked incredibly hard for 18 months trying to find Heidi’s way back to independence. They both believed that it was a long life for Heidi to live with her mum so they went about learning everything they could so Heidi could move out. It took months for Heidi to be able to go out in public feeling so conscious of people staring at her, wondering what had happened – after a while she regained the courage and self-esteem to understand that it didn’t matter what people think and this injury was about adjusting to a new lifestyle.
It was a long, hard and emotional 18 months of trying to gather all there was to know about living with spinal cord injury. Since then she has travelled with her boyfriend across Europe and to the USA, rediscovered her love of riding a modified trike and been able to discover the joy in doing many of the activities that she took pleasure from before her injury.
Heidi believes that Sargood gives guests the freedom to be the person that they were before acquiring their spinal cord injury despite the challenges that pop up along the way. The staff specifically trained to work with people living with SCI, guests and the community in and around Sargood are so welcoming and accepting.
Heidi has been an active and engaged Ambassador for the Sargood Foundation since 2015, with a specific interest in and support of our emergency funding program.
The Sargood Foundation plays such an important role for people with a spinal injury. They know the community like the back of their hand and have tirelessly fought to make this dream come true.