A freak accident in 2004, saw Sheena McGrade’s life change forever.
Sheena, who is from Glenageary, Dublin, was playing at a celebrity charity soccer match in Dublin on the day she sustained her spinal cord injury.
“I was playing a match in 2004 and when I was approaching the goal my plan was to dummy the ball around a well known ex-Dublin goalkeeper. We collided, I ended up on the floor, and the ball ended up in the net. As a result of my injury that day, I had to have a spinal fusion and bone graft L4/L5 performed on my back. This procedure was a success.”
In the intervening years, however, Sheena experienced chronic pain and residual problems following her operation.
This resulted in her medical team performing an anterior cervical discectomy fusion C5/C6 operation on her neck in 2011.
It was then in 2011, following her neck operation, that Sheena lost the power in her arms and was admitted to the spinal injuries unit in the Mater Hospital in Dublin, where she remained for three and a half months.
In a further turn of events, in September 2015, Sheena gradually began to lose the power in her legs and was admitted to St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin for further investigations. She remained there for 14 months, 10 of which she got around in a wheelchair.
A determined lady, she fought hard to regain mobility and is now walking without any aids.
“I have always set goals for my life and I have been very fortunate to achieve every goal I’ve set. I was very lucky to be able to walk again. My next aim is to achieve my goal of walking the mini marathon in aid of Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII) this weekend.”
To mark her recovery, Sheena (57) has decided to walk the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon in aid of SII after she recently completed the Darkness Into Light 5K walk in Rostrevor, Co Down.
Sheena has always been a keen sportswoman as she is an ex-international high jump & javelin thrower, she was also on the Irish ladies international soccer panel, and she played in the world ladies snooker championships.
She explained: “I had volunteered my services for the Darkness Into Light walk and I succeeded in finishing the walk. The fact that I finished that walk gave me some sort of goal and I said if I can do 5K, I can do 10K.”
Sheena said she will walk the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon this Monday June 5 in aid of SII to give back to the charity that she says helped her so much along her path to recovery.
“There’s no better charity to do this mini marathon for than Spinal Injuries Ireland in my eyes. I cannot convey my appreciation for what SII did for me over the last few years to help me to get to where I am now. A special thank you must go to Siobhan O’Driscoll, my Outreach Officer, for all her help and guidance.
“SII is very close to my heart as the staff were very supportive of me regarding my pain management and they helped me to control my pain. This stopped the pain controlling me. They have supported me so much over the past few years and I would like to thank them for always being there.”
If you would like to support Sheena McGrade on her first 10K walk since her spinal cord injury please donate on her Go Fund me page here