Young adults at highest risk of spinal cord injury

SpinChat - Rhiannon Tracey

More than 350 new cases of spinal cord injury are reported in Australia each year; that’s nearly one every day. Young adults aged 15-24 are particularly at risk, with the majority of new injuries sustained at this age.

Rhiannon Tracey understands all too well the personal implications of these figures. Two months before her 21st birthday, Rhiannon’s life changed forever while on holiday in Bali. Rhiannon dove into a resort swimming pool and hit her head on the bottom. She instantly broke her neck.

As part of the SpinChat program Rhiannon is sharing her story with high school students. The program aims to raise awareness of spinal cord injury and compels young adults to consider the consequences of risk taking or careless behaviour.

In her presentations, Rhiannon openly discusses what her life was like before the injury, the day of the accident and how her life has changed since.

Unfortunately, the most common causes of spinal cord injury are largely preventable, such as water or sport related accidents. As young Victorians head off on their winter holidays, the injury prevention message is particularly important.

To book a SpinChat session for your secondary school or sports club simply click here.

SpinChat is run by Independence Australia, a not-for-profit organisation which supports people living with a disability. Independence Australia also proudly sponsors the Victorian All Abilities State Team.