Shelley joins Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn as occupational therapist after being inspired by NHS staff who cared for her

Shelley Faulkner. Picture: Victoria Fear

Shelley Faulkner. Picture: Victoria Fear - Credit: Archant

A woman whose occupational therapists helped her recover from a serious spine injury has decided to join their ranks.

Shelley Faulkner, 31, suffered serious spinal and arm injuries and doctors feared that she could be left paralysed after a car crash four years ago. But thanks to the care provided by therapists at the hospitals which cared for her she recovered.

Her experience inspired her to become an occupational therapist and she has just started work at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn.

'During my recovery, the occupational therapists were really positive with me and gave me hope that my left arm would work again,' she said.

'I was given the responsibility as a patient to move forward and that felt really reassuring and made me start to think that I would like to give something back. All the health professionals are in it for the patients. You join the NHS as you care about people and want the best for them. The thought that I could help a person to appreciate every aspect of their life and become a motivation drew me to this profession.'

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Miss Faulkner's life changed on November 15, 2013, when she was driving to work from Alcester to Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, where she lived. Her car skidded on ice and overturned in a field. Firefighters cut her free and she was taken to A&E at nearby Redditch.

She had broken her top two vertebrate along with the ulna and radius in her left arm and a dislocation of her left arm.

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Miss Faulkner needed a number of operations, including screws and rods inserted into her neck, and a metal plate in her arm.

She said her occupational therapist inspired her recovery. Almost two years after the accident, she began an occupational therapy course at the University of the West of England.

She has now joined the QEH in King's Lynn, covering different wards and the community.

'I enjoy talking to the patients, their families and relatives,' she said. 'I am also enjoying being part of the team as a newly qualified occupational therapist. It is also a really proud moment to see my name and profession on my tunic.'

QEH medical director Nick Lyon said: 'We are pleased to welcome such an inspirational and determined professional as Shelley to be part of Team QEH.'

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