Craig Harvey gives hope to others after suffering spinal injury | The Area News

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At the start of 2020, Craig Harvey was told he had 18 months to live. A spinal cord injury suffered during a basketball match two decades prior had re-emerged after a doctor friend noticed something wasn’t quite right during a game of touch football with Mr Harvey. “He booked me in for x-rays, ultrasounds and all sorts of things,” Mr Harvey said. “He got all the results back and about two days before Christmas he called me up and said he had some bad news to tell me. We’ve gone out to dinner and looked at my scans and he told me I couldn’t work or play sport any more. ” IN OTHER NEWS: Neurosurgeons were then called in to take a further look, and the news only got worse. “I remember he was doing a grip test and suddenly I couldn’t move my hand,” Mr Harvey added. “He sat me down and said ‘Craig, you’ve got about 18 months to live and there’s nothing I can do for you’.” He told me to get a second, third and fourth opinion. About two weeks later, I was told I would have to be put in a wheelchair to save my life. “That didn’t resonate well with me, and I started having some dark conversations with my wife about where we would head with that.” But a few months later, one of the doctors told Mr Harvey that as new information came to light about his condition, what they could do for him also changed. “He told me they knew how to fix me,” Mr Harvey added. A team of doctors came together and decided the best option was to fuse sections of Mr Harvey’s vertebrae together. “I was thinking I wouldn’t pull through this, because all sorts of things go through your mind unfortunately,” the mechanic added. But more than two years after being given the news that his days were numbered, not only is the mechanic still alive, but he is thriving. The surgery was a success and after years of rehab, Mr Harvey was this week given the all clear to get out from behind a desk and return to the floor of his workshop, something he had not been able to do since early 2020. “Mentally , I always wanted to get back on the floor, even though I was told I couldn’t, “he added. “I’m still not allowed to do a lot, but I’ve started to play a little bit of netball, I’m coaching a bit more, I’m bushwalking and it’s changed my life.” The plan is for Mr Harvey to start with one job a day and slowly build up to the point where he is able to do a six hour shift on the workshop floor. He hoped that by speaking out, he could help others by going through what he endured. “You feel like you’re isolated and alone, so if this story can get out there and give someone the opportunity to even reach out to me, or Spinal Home, then that’s the least I can do,” he said. “You might be designated to a chair, but there’s still people and support around you who can help and give you that inspiration to never give up.”


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