By Cameron Noble (Benny The Backrower)
July 15th 2023, a date that will stick with me for rest of my life, it began like every other show day, I had woken up, double checked my gear bag, did my usual show day routine before I walked out the door to begin the 2 and a half hour trip to NCPW, not knowing how my life would change that night. Fast forward to the moment the incident occurred, my opponent and I had set up for the finish, little did I know that this would also be the finish of my in ring career as I would go on to fracture my C4 and C5 vertebrae in my neck. From the moment it happened I knew I was in trouble, the pain was horrendous and I had felt a violent crack in my neck. I’m not sure how long I was laying in the ring waiting for medical professionals to arrive, but it felt like an eternity.
I was transported to Port Macquarie Base hospital, not allowed to move my body at all, waiting anxiously to learn of the damage to my neck and spine. After multiple X-rays and scans, the doctors broke the devastating news to me. I didn’t just suffer a broken neck that night, but also a broken heart as I knew that this was the end of the dream that I wanted to live since I was a 6 year old boy. I would be lying if I didn’t admit there were quite a few tears shed that night and over the next few weeks. At this stage the doctors had told me that they would be sending the scans to John Hunter hospital to see if surgery was needed.
After a very rough night’s sleep, I was woken by doctors to be told that surgery is my best option and that I would be transferred to John Hunter Hospital in the next couple of days. That information shook me to my core, I had never had surgery before, and this was considered major surgery, so there was definitely an element of fear. I was still not allowed to move at this point, so I had to lay and wait for the moment I would be transported to Newcastle. I was definitely relieved to know that I was at least going to be closer to home.
Monday morning rolled around, the doctors came in to say that today was the day and I would be flying to Newcastle around lunch time, they said their goodbyes and wished me all the best. They were such great doctors who took great care of me while I was in such a vulnerable condition.
Fast forwarding to landing in Newcastle, I was very excited knowing that I was going to be able to see everyone who was so worried about me, including my partner and parents, I can’t imagine how stressful it would have been having to wait 2 days after the incident just to see me. After I had settled in, the surgeon came in to see my partner and I to let me know that I would be having triple neck fusion surgery. He also informed me that I would be allowed out of bed to move around as he saw no risk in, I was quite excited about that after 2 days of been bed ridden!
In the days leading up to surgery I was completely overwhelmed with messages of support, visits and donations as I was learning to cope with my dream coming crashing down around me. I’m all honesty, it was all such a big help to get me through one of hardest times of my life. I will never be able to some up how grateful I am in words.
The day of surgery arrived and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there was a big feeling of fear that came over me for the entire day leading up. It was my first surgery and it was considered a major one at that. I didn’t go into the operating theatre until late afternoon, so I had a lot of time to think about it. In hindsight, I was scared for no reason, the surgery went well, and there wasn’t as much pain after as I thought there would be.
Post surgery (part 2) to be posted soon….