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Paralysed Blackburn teenager hopes to play rugby again
9:49am Monday 14th January 2013 in Blackburn
A TEENAGER left paralysed after a rugby tackle went wrong has had £30,000-worth of modifications made to his home — and hopes to play rugby again.
George Claxton, 15, landed awkwardly trying to execute a tackle during a game for Blackburn RUFC.
Now the flanker, who has remained determined not to let his accident get him down, says he is keen to get involved with wheelchair rugby.
Changes to his home include the installation of a lift, a new wheelchair friendly wet room and seen all doors in the house widened.
George, of Sandringham Close, Blackburn, said: “The modications have definitely made it a lot easier to get around the house. I can now get into my bedroom upstairs and sleep in my old bed.
“They have made a huge difference already.”
The alterations, which took three weeks to com-plete, have been paid for by a grant through the government’s disability living allowance benefits.
The inspirational St Wilfred’s CE Academy pupil was playing for the Under 15s team when he was flipped over by the momentum of his body crashing into his opponent in February last year.
He was airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital by the North West Air Ambulance before being moved to Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. There an MRI scan revealed George had actually dislocated his neck, shattering a spinal disc and twisted his spinal column.
George was immediately taken into surgery and fitted with a halo brace, which is designed to stretch out the spine and preventing new movement causing further damage. He also had his damaged spinal disc removed in surgery and replaced with a plastic cage. Just three weeks later he was transferred to Sheffield Princess Royal’s spinal unit where he is still being treated almost 12 months on.
George, who lost his mum Andrea to cancer in 2005, is now confined to a wheelchair.
Andrew, his dad, has been by his side every day since the accident. He said: “The modifications took about three weeks in total to install and now enable George to finally sleep back upstairs and not in the conservatory at the back of the house.
“We are positively looking to the future and George is trying to enroll with the West Coast Crash wheelchair rugby team.”
Members of Blackburn RUFC set up a trust fund for George to help pay for any future expenses.
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