Tara was riding her horse in 2014 when she was bucked off and landed headfirst on the ground.
She was airlifted to hospital and quickly learnt she was paralysed from the upper chest down. She had injured her spinal cord at C6-7 .
“It’s almost impossible to convey the full horror of being trapped inside a prison formed by your own body. The first and foremost thing any research provides for someone in my position is hope. Without hope it is genuinely very difficult to even bother carrying on never mind being able to motivate oneself to do the physio which is critical to long-term health for a paralysed person. The psychological boost provided by knowing that great advances are being made is immeasurable.
Having hands means you can wash yourself, feed yourself, dress yourself as well as be able to do many desk jobs, enabling an income and the freedom to travel outside of your own home. It also cuts down massively on care bills, whether that cost is being born by an individual or by the state.
In spring 2018, Tara was invited to be an Ambassador for Spinal Research. Her passion and support for our work has been hugely beneficial in raising awareness, both in terms of what it is like to have a spinal cord injury and demonstrating the very real need for research in this underfunded area.
She has also involved her father, artist David Howell, with her activities, and the proceeds from one of his equestrian paintings being donated to Spinal Research.