Melanie Reid, 52, a popular columnist for The Times, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, is exposing real life with paralysis – her new life – like no one before her.
After breaking her neck is a horse-jump gone awry last April (“I pulled a Christopher Reeve,” she writes), she decided to dedicate her column to her experiences as a newly-minted quadriplegic. A frightening life experience most people will never know (nor want to), her compelling account of her first 6 months is jarringly accurate and completely fascinating. I’ve never seen anyone describe it as well as her.
From bemoaning her curled fingers and figuring out how to do Ctrl-Alt-Del without sticky keys, to the loneliness one feels when your fellow injured friends leave rehab before you do, she shows what the reality is really like. She loathes herself for being such a risk-taking “old woman” and lays it all out there, brutally; what it’s like to try so hard to wiggle your toes, to get back the return you want so bad, only to see the 6 month mark come and go.
Before her horse accident, she lived a privledged, successful life completely free of disability. As a writer for The Times (the original “Times” mind you; one of the oldest newspapers in the world), she shared her opinion on hot-button topics and important new stories, always giving her unique take.
Someone with a well-known voice like hers can do a lot for our community, and hey – it looks like she is! It was just announced that Melanie is helping The Times with their Christmas charity campaign to help both the Spinal Injuries Association and Spinal Injuries Scotland.
It seems this tough-willed woman has chosen to not only survive, but to carry on.
- To read Melanie’s column in The Times, read her first installment – Why did I let this happen to me? (the rest are readable by subscribers).
- More from Melanie in The Scottish Sun – I went from high flyer to cripple in a second (a bit sensationalized, but it gets good at the end)
- Must-read: A lively discussion on her column from others with spinal cord injuries: CareCure
– Tiffiny, the fashionista paralyzed blogger (my bio)