Flt Lt Paul Dixon is helping the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) celebrate their 40th Anniversary this year by raising awareness of spinal cord injury and by donating some of the profits, made from sales of a book he has just authored.
Paul first came across SIA just over two years ago, whilst he was rehabilitating in DMRC Headley Court. He had damaged his spine when he fell 30ft during a training exercise, and this was made worse during surgery to fix the damage. He was in a dark place at the time, having not fully understood the implications of having an incomplete spinal cord injury. He was not progressing in his physiotherapy sessions and didn’t know how to begin planning for his future.
Luckily for Paul, SIA’s Peer Support Officer for the Armed Forces operates in DMRC Headley at least once a week and was quick to pick up on Paul’s need for support. Having peer-led face to face support made a massive difference to Paul’s outlook on his rehabilitation and life overall. Paul said of the support “Because SIA’s Peer Support Officer had already been through the same journey, he knew how I felt about the developments in my condition and why I was feeling the way I did. This was not only reassuring but also helped me see that I could still have an active life.”
With SIA’s support Paul was able to find new ways of achieving everyday things that mattered to him and his family. As a result Paul remains the active hands on dad and supportive husband that he has always been. Paul says “SIA’s support went well beyond the call of duty. They fought my corner, were a shoulder to cry on during bad days and helped me gain a manual wheelchair to relieve the exhaustion I was experiencing which meant I could still take my daughter to school and out of a weekend.”
Paul wants to help spread the word about the support he received and of his experience of rebuilding his life after spinal cord injury. To do this Paul gives talks on behalf of SIA at training and events and he has also penned a book. Resilience Recapture is a practical, pragmatic and motivational guide that gives the reader the tools needed to guarantee success in the face of adversity.
Resilience Recapture is available at £9.99 from Amazon and at Paul’s request a percentage of the profits from sales of this book will be donated to SIA on an annual basis.