Life is an emotional roller coaster. How do we find an anchor in difficult times?

The story of Maurizio Coldagelli

“My working day was already over. However, I went back to the building site to check something. And I fell 10 metres into a lift shaft. This accident completely thwarted my life. I had just turned 40.

And there I was – paralysed and almost blind – in a situation that was difficult for me to cope with. To be perfectly honest, it was no longer a life worth living for me. I expressed my feelings and thoughts about suicide, which resulted in many, many discussions and ultimately in a change in me.

It's still not always easy, even four years after the accident. However, I accepted the challenge. My children and my wife motivate me to keep going. And that's exactly what I do. Every day.”

“It's not always easy. But I’m motivated to carry on.”
Maurizio Coldagelli, tetraplegia since 2012

Overview stories Beacons of Hope

A spark of hope is all it takes

Every day, pastoral care worker Ursula Walti and psychologist Nadira Hotz encounter people whose life has been ruptured. Together with them, they start to look for what’s good for the soul. The two experts explain how a spark of hope can help confidence start to grow in patients again.

A symbol of stability and hope

An anchor serves to hold a ship in place on the seabed so that it cannot drift away in a storm, thus providing safety for the people on board. The symbol of the anchor stands for stability and consistency. When things get stormy in life, strong and secure anchoring is all the more important.

Sailors used to have anchors tattooed on their arms as a sign of having crossed the Atlantic. Later, the meaning of the anchor changed to love, in particular love of one's home harbour. Today, the anchor is still seen as a sign of love, faithfulness, stability and strong ties.

In early Christianity, the symbol of the anchor stood for hope for the future. The anchor represents a happy and enlightened life. In Ancient Rome, the anchor was a symbol of faith.

Anchor Sculpture by Joe Meyer

About the metal sculpture: Anchor is a work by metal artist Joe Meyer. He describes the personal significance of this symbol for himself as follows:

“The internal stability inside each person can mean different things: family, friends, but also the freedom to do what you’d like.”

We support people with spinal cord injuries. Throughout their lives.

  • Why talking is important: Momo Christen, Daniel Göring and Philipp Zürcher survived a suicide attempt. They speak of their experiences in film clips.

  • A traumatic spinal cord injury caused by an accident, a disease or other circumstances affects almost all parts of life: physical health, self-determination and independence, performance and material security, lifestyle and relationships are all directly affected or at stake.

  • Very few people are aware of the fact that a spinal cord injury means much more than being in a wheelchair. It results in momentous turning points in the life of people with a spinal cord injury. The loss of mobility, no longer being able to walk, maybe only having limited use of your arms are one aspect of it. The loss of bladder and bowel functions, sexual functions, sensory functions and other things are another.

  • For many people, the area by the lake is a welcome retreat where they can find some peace so that they can think about their situation, recharge their batteries and make plans for the future. Surrounded by nature, they find inner peace and feel better able to face the challenges of day-to-day life with this new-found strength

    The picturesque area by the lake is also ideal for leisure activities. Reserved for patients, relatives and employees of the Swiss Paraplegic Group, it is a place for barbecues, relaxation and spending time together. As part of their therapy, patients can also access the lake from here to go canoeing or swimming.

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