Broken Neck: So What Do I Do Now?

This is the story of how I (a twenty year old guitar teacher from Essex, England) managed to break three vertabre in my neck. I am posting this as a way of moving on from my own experience; but equally to help others in a similar situation. I welcome any comments or questions.

One Sunday night in late March of 2007, I was enjoying a quiet night in with my family, when at around eight o clock, my mobile rang. A few of my friends were gathering at our local watering hole, and asked me to join them. I declined their invitation at first, but was easily persuaded and my good friend beth picked me up in her car.

To cut a long story short, after three pints of rather tasty English cider we decided to go for a drive. We eventually arrived at a spot where we often would go to hang out. As we pulled up in the car, the headlights shone on a rather large tree standing about 20 feet in front of us. A rather athletic friend of mine decided to climb it. I; with my 200+ pound err.. non muscular frame, decided to join him. This, of course, is how my accident happened.

I climbed around thirty feet up to the top of the tree, and the wind started to pick up. The tree began to sway uncontrollably, so I made a rather hasty descent to the bottom. I got about 15 foot from the ground when I decided to jump from 1 branch to another.

I reached out and grabbed the branch, but as my feet swung forward into the air, my fingers lost grip. My legs swung above my upper body, and I began to fall to the ground. I am told I hit head and shoulders first.

Beth drove me to a local hospital where the doctor told me I had broken my C6, C7 and C1 vertabre. As Beth held my left hand, I tensed every muscle in my body, and one at I time, I said goodbye to them all. I think its fair to say that my chances of survival were slim.

Incredibly, I survived. In fact, less than two years later I am typing away on my girlfriends laptop with the use of my entire body available to me; however, I do live my life in a permenant state of discomfort; which I find both restricting and incredibly depressing.. I am Still learning to live with that pain.

If anyone wishes to contact me, for whatever reason, send me a message. If you are reading this, chances are you or someone close to you has been through something similar.

Don't be a stanger! X

jd2009 jd2009
22-25, M
7 Responses Jan 31, 2009

Hi there, I also broke my neck in 2007 but mine was February. Just had my 8 year anniversary! I was 21 at the time. I was hit by a car and broke ...... A lot but my main injury was my neck I did my c5-c7 and my c6 imploded I had to have a bone graft from my hip. I'm extremely lucky and I like to think I appreciate the smaller things in life now. But not a day has gone by where I'm not in pain. Once again I do feel very lucky I can walk and use my arms I just got off with some minor nerve damage to my right hand. Have you found anything to ease the pain? I'm on a life time prescription to Tramadol lol I try not to take them too often so I use heat pads cold pads and a hot water bottle and it can take the edge off. Depends on how severe the pain is that day. Anyhooo thought I would share my experience as I'm a fellow survivor. Take care. Gem x

i broke my C1 and split the ligament from gymnastics 3 years ago my story is on this page if you want to read it it healed after 2 months and they never gave me physical therapy it still hurts to turn it to the right. also i went to gymnastics camp last year and they said my muscles were as tight as if i broke it the year before. im sorry about your pain i hope the best for you.

C1 hey; impressive! We are so lucky. I am sorry to hear of your pain; having had a couple of years more to deal with this though I can tell you that it gets easier; plus I have recently realised that I am a much more together person through this experience. I look back at when I wrote this, and it was such a hard, dark time. Now though I am clean, sober and not in anything like as much pain. I can do anything and everything that I want to; plus I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. There is hope. And the nice thing about an injury like ours? It only gets better. Never worse generally. Every day, every morning is easier.

I wish you all the best in the future, I just know you will carry on getting better and better!

Love and respect,


Thanks for posting your story. I was in a terrible car accident last March and broke my C7. I have been struggling with the constant pain ever since. It is really nice to speak with someone that actually understands what I have gone through.

Anytime! Please feel free to message me privately if you would like any advice. Remember; it is ALL about positive thinking and positive people!

-This is a message for "judyvanvolk"-<br />
Tried to message you butthe site wouldn't let me... could you email me your facebook details? Then we can arrange xx<br />

You are more then welcome to contact me. My injury was 3 years ago. Doing much better...still have some pain and discomfort from time to time though...check out my story.

I just broke my neck in six places, apparantly, two surguries later here I am. I would like to talk with you over the telephone if possible. How can we arrange? I have a face book account and can add you as a friend for private info or if possible any other way. I'd like to know what you did for pain other than the usual meds? How you handle life? IT hurts.

I completely understand where you are coming from. I too broke my neck. My C6 Vertebra only. I have two rods, titanium cage and 8 screws holding everything together. Its been a tough road...over two years ago. I am not just getting my life back and feeling normal again.