WE promised our members a moving evening with Paul Kilbride – and it certainly was.
Paul decided to tell his story to a wider audience after his session with us last year.
He felt that it would help others come to terms with serious injuries. And from what we heard on the night, it certainly will.
On Mother’s Day 1995, Paul was playing in a Yorkshire League game and, during the game, a scrum collapsed with Paul underneath.
Agony followed agony until the ambulance arrived. Paul would like it noted that he did win the ball before this event took place!
It was obvious some form of back injury had occurred and the ambulance crawled at 5mph to Leeds General Infirmary.
After X-rays and MRI scans, Paul was informed he had to have an operation to re-join his spinal cord.
A spell in Pinderfields followed, with six weeks flat on his back.
Being told he had to learn how to do everything again, Paul realised it was up to him to recover as much as possible as quickly as possible. Strenuous gym sessions followed.
He’d always had a knack of helping others and it was in Pinderfields that he realised there was always someone worse off than yourself.
In this case it was a girl who had been flat on her back with a broken neck for two years.
She had admired Paul’s jumper. Paul offered to get her one the minute she sat up.
Within two weeks Paul had to stick to his promise!
Once out of hospital, Paul lived with his mum and dad in the garage which had been converted for him.
He found a job in a bookies, eventually becoming manager.
But then things started to deteriorate.
Eventually Paul applied to Leeds City Council for a flat/house.
After months of waiting, they found him one – on a hill requiring a lift and slope to enable him to get from his car to the house door!