Scots teen survives horrific accident that split his spine in two

A 17-year-old boy from Edinburgh is recovering from a freak accident that left him with a broken back and a severed spinal cord. The incident happened when he fell from a tree while playing with his friends.

How it happened

Ewan Macdonald was enjoying a sunny day with his mates at a park near his home on February 14, 2024. He decided to climb a tree to get a better view of the surroundings, but he slipped and fell about 20 feet to the ground. He landed on his back, breaking two vertebrae and severing his spinal cord in half.

He said: “I don’t remember much of the fall, just a loud crack and then everything went black. I woke up in the ambulance and I couldn’t feel my legs. I was terrified.”

His friends called for help and he was rushed to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he underwent a six-hour surgery to stabilize his spine and repair his spinal cord.

Scots teen survives horrific accident that split his spine in two

His recovery

Ewan spent two weeks in the intensive care unit, where he was put on a ventilator and given a high dose of steroids to reduce the swelling in his spine. He also had to wear a metal brace around his chest and waist to keep his spine aligned.

He said: “It was really hard to breathe and I couldn’t move at all. I felt like I was trapped in a cage. The doctors told me I had a 50/50 chance of walking again, but they also said it could take years of physiotherapy and rehabilitation.”

Ewan was transferred to the Astley Ainslie Hospital, a specialist centre for spinal injuries, where he began his long and painful journey to recovery. He had to learn how to sit up, stand, and walk again with the help of a walker and a harness.

He said: “It was really frustrating and exhausting. I had to start from scratch, like a baby. I had to retrain my muscles and nerves to work together. Sometimes I felt like giving up, but I also had a lot of support from my family, friends, and the staff at the hospital.”

His hopes for the future

Ewan has made remarkable progress in the past month. He can now walk short distances with a walker and he has regained some sensation in his legs. He hopes to be discharged from the hospital in the next few weeks and return to his home and school.

He said: “I’m really proud of how far I’ve come, but I know I still have a long way to go. I want to be able to walk without any assistance and play football again. That’s my dream.”

He also wants to raise awareness and funds for spinal cord research and support other people who have suffered similar injuries.

He said: “I want to use my experience to help others. I want to show them that there is hope and that they are not alone. I also want to thank everyone who has helped me, especially the doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists who saved my life and gave me a second chance.”

By Dayna Bass

Dayna Bass is a talented news writer at our website, delivering compelling and timely stories to our readers. With a passion for journalism and a keen eye for detail, Dayna covers a wide range of topics, ensuring that our audience stays informed about the latest news and developments. Whether it's breaking news, investigative reports, or human interest stories, Dayna's articles are meticulously researched and written with clarity and accuracy.

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