Paralysed patient walks again thanks to Stars Appeal equipment

A WOMAN left paralysed after a riding accident and told she’d never walk again, strode out of Salisbury Hospital – thanks to hard work and support from a new system.

Megan Field, 35, suffered serious injuries after an incident in May 2023 which damaged her spinal cord and left her paralysed in her lower legs. 

“It was like a light going out where the connection to that part of my body just went, “ she said.  “I thought, ‘I can’t feel my legs or anything below the chest, nothing’.”

After surgery, she started to regain feeling in one of her legs and was later transferred to the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury Hospital. 

Here, she was one of the first patients to use the £29,000 Stars Appeal-funded LiteGait – a supported mobile hoist system that enabled her to build up strength and confidence walking.

Four months later, Megan – from Trowbridge – used her crutches to walk out of the centre and continue her rehabilitation at home. 

Megan Field, using the LiteGait mobile hoist.

Megan Field, using the LiteGait mobile hoist. Photo: Spencer Mulholland Photography.

“This has been such a life-changing injury, which happened within a split second,” the 35-year-old said. 

“I woke up in the morning able to walk and went to bed that night paralysed.

“You rely on equipment like the LiteGait and the physios to help you with your rehab.  As a result of that I’m starting to walk again. The progress I’ve made would have taken much longer without the LiteGait. 

“Every day on the Spinal Unit, Stars Appeal equipment made a difference to my life, it is massively important and supports everything the therapists are doing. 

“I don’t really have the words to say what this has meant to me. 

“Thank you to all the Stars Appeal supporters who have made this equipment possible and helped me to walk again.” 

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Spinal Centre physiotherapist Elly Marchant, who supported Megan’s rehabilitation, said: “The LiteGait is something we’ve wanted for a long time because we know how empowering it can be for patients. 

“It is a great addition to our tools that we can use to start people’s walking in a safe environment. 

“This would not have been possible without the generous supporters of the Stars Appeal. Thank you.”

There were other facilities Megan benefited from during her time at the Spinal Centre, including wifi, the anti-gravity treadmill, adjustable dining tables and the Silver Lounge – which provides a quiet space and a place to socialise.

She added: “The free wifi was a real lifeline, as the minimum stay in the Spinal Unit is 12 weeks, so being able to access the internet for free means we are able to keep in touch with the outside world. 

“I used the Silver Room regularly when I wanted a quiet break from the ward environment and to socialise with other patients in the evening.”

To find out more about the Stars Appeal and its work at the Spinal Centre, visit

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