Road to recovery after freak accident in gym

Sophie Butler

Sophie is determined to walk again

A 21-year-old who suffered a devastating slip in the gym which has left her with a damaged spinal cord is raising money for pioneering treatment abroad to help her walk again.

Sophie Butler, from Basildon, was doing a squat with weights while training in the gym last July when she slipped and the weights fell on top of her.

Sophie said: “The accident is being investigated at the moment as I don’t really remember what happened.

“I was taken to Basildon Hospital and they found that I had snapped my vertebra which then had punctured my spinal cord.

“I had emergency corrective surgery that night and spent the next four months in hospital. I was really scared for the first few weeks I just laid there in bed; I didn’t know what had happened or what was going to happen in my future.”

Sophie learned that her spinal cord had been punctured and it had been moved out of place. Doctors are optimistic that she will walk again.

She currently travels up to Watford to a specialist neurological unit to have intense physio once a week but she is currently being assessed for epidural stimulation and stem cell treatment. Sophie would have to pay for this treatment and possibly go abroad.

Sophie is now trying to get back to normal and is very positive and determined to be independent and she was able to graduate from university in September 2017 gaining a degree in psychology.

She said: “I’m going back to work in the next couple of months and I do try and be as independent as possible.

“I can now do most things on my own, although some days are easier than others. I have to plan more now when I want to go out and about.


“I have always been very interested in fitness so would like to have a career in this area.

“I’ve started raising money for awareness and to receive specialised treatment as I am determined to walk again.”

One of her friends Mary is organising a fundraising curry night at Tandoori Parlour in Thundersley on Friday March 30 and her University friends are running a 10km in Lincoln.


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