A Cumbernauld mum, paralysed from the waist down in a freak accident, is attempting to swim the length of the Channel to raise funds for charity.
Vivianne Crispin, a nursing lecturer, could so easily have lain down and given up, particularly after her first accident, but this is a woman with a fighting spirit.
In the winter of 2009, she slipped on ice and fell. At the time, and despite working as a registered nurse while studying to complete a PhD in Nursing, she didn’t think much of the fall at first.
It was only as she started to notice neurological symptoms she contacted her GP.
She was diagnosed with an insidious Cauda Equina injury - a poorly known and poorly understood complication of a slipped disc.
Eventually, in May 2010, she was given a spinal MRI. The next day she underwent emergency neurological surgery to alleviate the pressure on her spinal cord. Without the surgery, Vivianne was told she would have been paralysed.
Surgical recovery required six weeks of bed rest but life soon returned to some semblance of normality for Vivianne as she returned to her studies and took on some nurse training responsibility.
Then disaster struck again in November 2011 when hercar was hit by a van driver at the Old Inns.
The impact of the crash disrupted her unstable spinal column and as a result Vivianne suffered yet another serious spinal injury.
Recovery from this second surgery was extremely traumatic. Healing and recovery was difficult and painful. Vivianne’s mobility was significantly affected and she was left with left lower limb paralysis and extreme back pain.
This battler could have just as easily given up second time around and accepted her disability. She could have resigned herself to her fate, wheelchair bound and too sick to work.
But she didn’t.
She stuck in, finished her PhD, and got a job working as a lecturer in nursing.
Vivianne told us: “I have a spinal cord injury myself, so when I saw this Channel Swim Challenge I was keen to take part.
“I know how difficult my life can be but I’m so fortunate not to be in a wheelchair full time.
A spinal cord injury can happen to anyone suddenly and at any time, so I want to raise as much money as I can to help provide the necessary equipment and support for people living with this type of injury”
And, to help do that, she’s swimming the 22-mile length of the English Channel to raise money for the spinal injury charity Aspire at The Tryst over a 12-week period.
You can give Vivianne your support by donating at her fundraising page on: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/vivianne-crispin-2017-channel-swim-20207