"An abscess was pressing on my spinal cord, which resulted in incomplete paraplegia. This happened in June 2003 when I was 22 years old. My life was chaotic before the diagnosis. I had never really found my place in society and had no goals. And then I got the diagnosis of a spinal cord injury. It stretched me to my limits.
After surgery, I was transferred to the Swiss Paraplegic Centre for rehabilitation. Here, I was looked after for ten months and the therapies and activities were good for me. Talking to other patients and experiencing solidarity with them were a great support for me. Gradually I found a perspective and realised that I wanted to find my way back into society. When I reached the point where I’d had enough of all the obstacles, I turned them into goals to overcome. Today I no longer let problems discourage me, but instead I look for solutions. Maybe that’s where my life force is found today."
Weaning people off a ventilation device is one of the core competencies at the Swiss Paraplegic Centre. Manuela Broger is a specialist nurse and head of RespiCare who supports patients on their journey towards breathing independently. She tells us about battles and hope in a situation that is unimaginable for people who have not experienced it.