Richard Tombs [Tombsy] ex Wallaby and NSW representative player suffered a severe neck injury in August, 2018 playing in an over 35’s soccer match.
Richard’s injury is classified as a “C4 incomplete spinal”. This means that all of Richard’s limbs are affected. Due to the type of injury, longer term diagnosis is unclear. Whilst there has been significant progress since Richard’s initial prognosis and he remains optimistic, there is a long road ahead and his recovery is uncertain.
He has also been diagnosed with spasticity meaning all his muscles are permanently turned on. Whilst his hand function is very limited, there is some restricted movement in his wrists and minimal movement and feeling in his legs. He is still suffering from neurological nerve pain and spasms.
In short - the impact is significant and life-changing. In practical terms, this means he is unable to use a phone, computer or to feed himself without help. Richard requires significant nursing support daily to manage his personal care, as well as assistance to get him in and out of bed and his electric wheelchair.