A WOMAN left paralysed following a car crash has sent a message of support from Pennsylvania to a Colchester teenager.
Tristan Green, 18, of Prettygate, Colchester, is currently in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, after he dived into four feet of swimming pool water in July.
He was left paralysed from the chest down and faces the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
His family have set up a Facebook page, Tristan’s Road to Recovery, which has more than 2,300 likes and has attracted global messages of support.
From 3,500 miles away, Lisa Lander wrote: “I was injured in a car crash in 1985, twoweeks after my 21st birthday.
“My back was broken and I have been paralysed since.
At that time I thought my life was pretty much over, since I was told I would never walk again.
“The doctors were right in that I never regained enough feeling or movement to be able to walk, but I have been having the time of my life!
“There are way too many exciting experiences waiting for you. Because of my paralysis I had to learn to be more outgoing and assertive, so I enrolled in college when I was 29.
“Six years later I earned a master’s degree in speech therapy. I wasn’t very bright in high school, either, but I graduated from college with honours. I also got married, had my daughter and have been able to continue doing my favourite thing...travel.”
She added: “Even though I am old per your standards, I want you to know that I will gladly be here anytime you need someone to listen...someone who has been there, done that.
“As a young person, I am totally confident you are going to bounce back from this.
“You may or may not be the person you were before your accident, but I know one thing...you will emerge a much stronger, wiser and even more amazing than you were before. Hang in there...if I can do it, I definitely know you can.”
Tristan is attached to a ventilator after undergoing a tracheostomy to put a hole in his windpipe.
In the last week has been able to use a speaking valve.
The full extent of his injuries, which included breaking his neck in two places, and a bruised spinal chord, will not be known for about a year. He is on a waiting list for Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire where he could spend up to nine months.