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Woman suffers life-changing injuries in paragliding accident

Posted in: Accidents and Sickness Abroad Personal Injury Spine & Back Injuries 

A woman from Gateshead is battling for compensation after suffering a serious spinal injury during a tandem paraglide in South Africa. The accident happened when Diane Bewick was on holiday in South Africa in 2004. It was heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa on Monday (9 March) that she crashed into a cliff face, which left her paralysed from the waist down. Ms Bewick will require care and rehabilitation for the rest of her life.

It was heard in court that the accident happened when the wing of the paraglide collapsed, leading it to sail into the cliff face. Ms Bewick was left stranded and paralysed for several hours before a helicopter eventually rescued her. She spent three weeks in a hospital in Cape Town before being transferred to the James Cook Spinal Unit in Middlesbrough for further treatment and rehabilitation.

“I will continue to fight along with my husband”

The accident left Ms Bewick with severe fractures to her spine, fibula, right tibia and left ankle – leaving her paraplegic and requiring the use of a wheelchair. Ms Bewick was forced to dramatically reduce her hours at work after the accident but says that she has not let her disabilities “put [her] life totally on hold”.

She said: “I will continue to fight along with my husband and my legal team so we can move forward in our lives and I can focus on the care I require.

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