A near-fatal accident lead to chronic pain


On the way to work on January 3rd 1964 at 6.50am, Colin (then 26) was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. The accident lead to a severe brachial plexus injury and to increasingly frequent bouts of chronic pain that would go unsuccessfully treated until 2016.


"...like thunderbolts down my arm: completely debilitating."


After the accident, Colin’s right arm was totally paralysed; it was here that the chronic pain developed. “The pain was like thunderbolts down my arm… completely debilitating,” he said.

As the condition developed, Colin did not respond to traditional painkillers, as he found them “totally immobilizing”. After spending entire weekends visiting his family in Germany in bed, “writhing in pain,” something had to change.


SCS and a new-found sense of control


Upon referral to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Colin received a two-week trial, followed by a spinal cord stimulator implant for brachial plexus injury-induced neuropathic pain.

The whole process of referral, treatment and the results were absolutely “wonderful,” says Colin. “It was life-changing. I don’t regard what I get now as pain, it’s hardly worth talking about.”

Since the operation in January 2016, Colin, now 79, has taken multiple family trips to Germany and done a two-week tour of Spain on his modified motorcycle.

With a new-found sense of control over his condition, Colin is now able to not only manage his pain but also his future.