A firefighter and mother of two has reportedly become paralyzed from the waist down after “snapping her back in two” while attempting to lift a staggering 286 pounds. Thirty-one-year-old Victoria Griffiths says she was trying to do weighted step-ups, using an aerobic step platform and a barbell loaded to teeth. Ms. Griffiths reports that she had loaded the barbell up to 130 kilograms — which is just over 286 pounds for those of us in the states.
Griffiths went to the gym for a daily spin class, but after doing a warm-up, she decided to go work out in the main gym before class started. As the time approached, she decided to just continue the leg routine she had started rather than go to the cycling class. Griffiths says that she started doing the weighted step-ups and had the barbell placed across the back of her neck.
A step-up is essentially a single-leg movement and is exactly what you’d expect: You place one foot forward onto a raised platform, lift yourself (and the weight) up with the forward leg and then descend back to the ground with the opposite leg. This is no easy feat with hundreds of pounds on your shoulders.
While attempting to lift the tremendous load, which was more than twice her body weight, Ms. Griffiths says that she “wobbled” and tipped forwards. “I stepped up with my right leg and left leg and got straight back down, but I wobbled and because of the weight of the bar, I fell forwards rather than backwards,” Griffiths explains.
From there, she says, the barbell rolled down her neck and “folded [her] in half.” The bar rolled right over her head and flung her body to the floor as she screamed in agony. The next thing she remembers is a fellow gym-goer telling her not to move. Griffiths says she kept trying to get up, and that it felt simply as though her body had gone numb from laying on the cold concrete floor for too long. “I didn’t understand what I had done,” she commented.
When the paramedics came, they told Griffiths they needed to move her legs. The mom-of-two says that she thought her feet were still on the floor when she realized the emergency care workers had already moved her — and that was when she began to realize something was terribly wrong. At the time, Griffiths says that she was more concerned about missing an upcoming training weekend at fire college, and that the idea of never walking again had never even crossed her mind.
Griffiths was rushed to Aintree University Hospital, in Liverpool, where surgeons performed a four-hour surgery and placed titanium rods in her back. She remained in the intensive care unit for 11 days before getting transferred to the spinal ward.
Two bones in her back were broken by the fall, and her spinal cord was severely damaged. She is now paralyzed from the navel down and doctors doubt that she will ever walk again. To continue her road to recovery, she was recently moved to Southport spinal injury rehabilitation unit.
“I know that the worst case is that I might be in a wheelchair and I’m not going to walk, but I have to come to terms with it as best I can,” Griffiths commented.
Despite the circumstances, she seems fairly optimistic and also notes that there is still a chance she could walk again. “Things could change. Your body is still in shock for the first eight weeks. I will be tested again after the eight weeks and there is a slim chance that with intense physio and a lot of work, I may be able to walk,” she stated. (RELATED: Read more stories like this at Twisted.news)