Fit and healthy surfer, 27, left a quadriplegic after a harmless swimming pool accident reveals how 3D printing has changed his life
- Steve Ralph was on vacation with friends when he plunged into a swimming pool and hit his head
- The 27-year-old broke his C4 vertebra as a result of the head injury
- He loved surfing and kayaking – and uses 3D printing to still do them
A 27-year-old who left a quadriplegic after breaking his backbone in a pool is remarkably capable of returning to some of his favorite hobbies – all thanks to 3D printing.
Steve Ralph was on vacation with his friends in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, diving into the deep end of the pool and slapping his head and breaking his C4 whirl.
Although the blow seemed harmless and he was not beaten unconscious, he could not feel his legs and knew immediately that something was seriously wrong.
Steve Ralph was on vacation with his friends in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, as he plunged into the deep end of the pool and slammed his head on a plank and broke his C4 whirl
& # 39; You always expect something that would cause & # 39; n injury, pretty dramatic, but it may happen what I think. It doesn't have to be crazy, & he said news.com.au.
Mr. Ralph was in hospital for 10 months after the accident – and he thought he would recover because he & # 39; young, fit and healthy & # 39; used to be.
& # 39; I kept telling myself that I would get better, but as the months pass, it starts to hit and really touches you that it doesn't improve no matter what you do or no matter how hard you try & # 39; , he said.
But Mr Ralph's view changed when he was told about Sargood at Collaroy, a resort for people with spinal cord injuries.
Resort staff prints 3D components that can be added to equipment – such as kayaks and fishing gear – so that people with spinal cord injuries can return to their favorite activities.
Mr. Ralph was in hospital 10 months after the accident – and he thought he was doing well because he was fit and healthy. However, one thing that drastically changed Mr Ralph's view was Sargood at Collaroy, a resort for people with spinal cord injuries
Employees at the resort (photo) started with 3D printing components that could be added to equipment that allowed people with spinal cord injuries to return to their favorite activities
Mr. Ralph was able to return to some of his favorite hobbies.
& # 39; The first time kayaking was unreal. It was a surreal feeling. When you first came in there, it didn't matter to see your legs. My brain thought I was watching a video. I just stumbled how I'm back in this kayak? & # 39 ;, he said.
Mr. Ralph said he loves the work of the resort and has been back six times.
David Simpson, an occupational therapist, told Seven news 3D printing ensured patient self-sufficiency.
The printer would create objects that the patient could use for activities, such as personalized oars for kayaking or controllers for drones.
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