A busy mum has told of the life-changing moment her partner was permanently paralyzed after blowing his nose and fainting on the bathroom floor.
On January 2nd last year, Kirsty Brunner, 34, and her family were at home when they heard a “loud bang coming from their bathroom.”
I rushed inside and found my partner lying on the floor unconscious. He hit and dislocated his neck causing a C6/7 spinal cord injury, Kirsty, from Sydney, told FEMAIL.
“He blew his nose and passed out, slamming his neck on the toilet seat.”
Before this terrifying ordeal, on New Year’s Day, her partner, who did not wish to be named, “had a feeling something bad was going to happen.”
I will never forget him saying he sensed something bad was on the way. I look back now and it gives me goosebumps,” Kirsty recalls.
The accident happened the next day.
Mum-of-four Kirsty Brunner, 34 (pictured, left) has had to put her job on hold after a freak accident left her partner, 43, paralyzed
On January 2nd last year, Kirsty Brunner, 34, and her family were at home when they heard a “loud bang coming from their bathroom.” Her partner (left) injured and dislocated his neck, causing a spinal cord injury
Her partner, who did not wish to be named, spent the next six months in hospital and rehab
At the time due to Covid restrictions Kirsty was not allowed into hospital and had to wait a grueling eight hours for an update as her partner, 43, underwent a six hour operation.
I was so sick of anxiety. Eventually they called and said he had a dislocated neck from hitting the seat which had caused a spinal cord injury and the extent of the injuries was not known until they operated and examined.
Meanwhile, The Booty Co—known for selling skincare products that reduce women’s cellulite in a matter of weeks—was neglected and spent months feeling depressed.
The effect on Kirsty and her family was massive, and they all struggled to adjust to the new routine.
Kirsty juggled four children — Lucas, 16, Valentina, 7, Victoria, 5, and Vitalia, 18 months — while her partner spent the next six months in hospital and rehab.
Before the accident, her partner was fit and healthy and was running 10km a day (pictured before the accident)
Now he is unable to stand, ‘paralyzed from below the chest’ and will likely never fully recover (pictured today)
“The emotional and mental stress it caused me was so intense that I couldn’t care about work at all,” said Kirsty.
“We had a third party warehouse to send it in but everything else was completely shut down.”
Her sister Felicity, the brand’s creative director, has been unable to work because she helps the kids.
‘I was so mentally exhausted that I struggled to look after my kids as best I could until Felicity would come in and do a lot of the housework and help out with the kids, leaving her unable to do her part at work either,’ Kirsty said. .
Today her partner has not recovered from the accident and is paralyzed from the T1 level downwards – which corresponds to the nerves that affect the muscles, upper chest, mid-back and abdominal muscles. He used to run 10 km a day but now he can’t stand up.
The couple was told that a full recovery was highly unlikely. This means Kirsty has to choose what comes first every day, but her children, her partner and her job are always a priority.
I don’t have time to rest for myself at all. “I put every spare minute into work,” she said.
“I try to do things that make it a little easier like order most things online like groceries, make sure I get organized for the night before and get help when needed.”
Kirsty described the experience as the “most difficult time” of her life.
I was able to start working at The Booty Co back in March of this year, and the brand finally hit $1.2 million in sales, which Kirsty was thrilled with.
Kirsty launched The Booty Co in November 2020 after three years developing the perfect acne and wrinkle formula.
Kirsty and The Booty Co will donate $5 of every sale made from the site to Neura Australia.
Donations go toward spinal cord stimulation research in hopes of restoring movement in people with spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injury costs $3.7 billion annually in Australia.