British triathlete Claire Danson has revealed she has been left paralysed following a training accident with a tractor.
Danson, the sister of British hockey player and Olympic gold medallist Alex, had been crowned European champion in the 30 to 34-year-old category back in June.
But on 28 August, she collided with a tractor while out on a training bike ride, which left her paralysed from the belly button down.
Revealing the news in an Instagram post, Danson wrote: “It has taken me a while to write this but I am now ready to share my story of the incident the changed my life forever; a story of going from European champion at triathlon to life in a wheelchair.
“On the 28th August, I had a collision with a tractor whilst riding my bike. I suffered two punctured lungs, broke a finger, both wrists, the head of my humerus and both shoulders. I also fractured all the bones in my neck including a break to one and multiple fractures and breaks to every one of my ribs.
“I have had quite a few surgeries to sort all this and now have a large amount of metal in me. All of this will heal fully.
“Unfortunately, I also suffered a complete sever to my spinal cord at T9. This means that I am paralysed from my belly button downwards. This of course is not something that will heal. Whilst I still have hard moments I have accepted the situation I am in now and won’t be letting it stop me doing anything that I want to (including triathlon!)”
Danson’s sister, Alex, has been out of action from hockey for over a year after banging her head on a concrete wall in a seemingly innocuous incident, which led to severe concussions issues.
Writing about her sister’s accident, she said: “I have seen the girl I love turn into the girl I admire more than anyone in the world. In a blink of an eye her world has been turned upside down and her bravery, strength and that damn amazing smile are still there.
“She’s the most resilient, hard working and inspiring person you will ever meet and, having already overcome many challenges in her life before, I knew she will reign a champion of this one too.”