After what we were told was a "freak" accident 5 years ago, my sister Monique sneezed and broke her neck. The odds of it happening again were slim to none.
The injury was a subluxation of her C1 and C2 vertebrae and she spent 14 weeks in a Halo neck brace and a further 4 weeks in a special soft neck brace.
Monique was forced to move home to Hobart whilst her husband Sam remained in Melbourne to work. Our mum quit her job to care for Monique and their then 9-month-old son Thomas. Sam visited on the weekends when he was able to around work commitments. The financial burden as you can imagine was difficult.
Eventually Monique seemed to make a full recovery, suffering only occasional neck pain, but this always seemed to subside.
On Thursday 20th April 2017 Monique went to work and was a little sore in her neck. After a cough and a sporadic laugh with a work colleague she knew instantly what had happened. She was frozen, unable to move and in immense pain. After arriving at the hospital it was confirmed she had again broken her neck, exactly the same as before.
On Monday the 24th April 2017, after 4 days in traction whilst heavily medicated trying to re-align the spine without using a halo brace, the decision was made that this was the only way forward. So Monique was again put into a Halo brace.
This is a horrible procedure; 4 screws are drilled into the scull to hold the heavy, large steel brace in position. Unfortunately for medical and safety reasons this has to be done while awake, with no sedation or anesthetic. This was a very traumatic and painful experience for Monique, and she has now had to endure it not just once, but twice.
Rehab, healing and life in a Halo brace is very difficult and restricting. Monique will need constant care and support. Monique and Sam also now have 2 children. They both work full time to support Thomas (now 5) and Macy (2). Monique is now going to be off work and unable to care for herself or her children for a significant period of time.
I have had an overwhelming amount of people reaching out and asking how they can help and I think this is the best way we can show our love and support.
This support will assist in keeping up with ongoing preventative treatment, mortgage repayments, childcare, school and other living expenses. Due to the nature of the injury, there is no financial coverage or assistance in the form of Workcover, TAC, Government Rebate or Sick Leave (the latter due to Monique being in a new job).
Every dollar will count. Please give if you can spare a few bob! Much appreciated. Love the Bakers