Former Haverhill drama teacher praises ‘remarkable’ support after freak spinal injury

Steve Powter, who suffered a freak spinal injury. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Steve Powter, who suffered a freak spinal injury. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A former Haverhill teacher says the support he has received after suffering a crippling spinal injury has been “remarkable”.

Steve Powter, who worked as a drama teacher at both Samuel Ward Academy and Castle Manor Academy, suffered a freak injury in October when a disc moved into his spinal column – paralysing him from the waist down.

Steve underwent successful surgery to remove the disc in his back, but doctors say he may not ever walk unaided again.

He has been forced to put his Haverhill house up for sale because it is not possible to adapt it to his needs following the debilitating injury.

Steve’s friends have now rallied behind a fundraising campaign to buy the 38-year-old a £1,800 specialised wheelchair.


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The Justgiving page has so far raised more than £2,300 and any money left over will go towards aiding Steve’s recovery.

Steve said: “I suffered the injury after getting out of bed. I stood up and took two steps and suddenly felt like someone had shoved a red hot poker in my spine.

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“Over the next 24 hours I gradually lost feeling and movement below the waist, to the point that I slept on the sofa because I couldn’t face the stairs and then in the morning I couldn’t even sit up.

“Doctors were happy with the surgery but the prognosis is difficult to forsee, apparently it’s unlikely that I will ever walk unaided again, but that could mean anything from crutches to permanent wheelchair and not being able to even stand.”

Steve said the response to the Justgiving page has been “astounding” and the money will be so helpful as his recovery continues.

He said: “It has been remarkable. Not just friends but former students, their parents and even a complete stranger donated 500 quid.

“The amount of money that has already been raised is astounding, but the side benefits have been just as special.

“I have had messages and friend requests from people from throughout my past, old university mates and even one of my best mates from school.

“The money will be so useful. Not just in going towards a chair but in covering all of the other costs that I’m going to face.”

To donate, click here to visit the Justgiving page.

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