Meet Christa Dyson
Christa Dyson, Patient
Research Champion, BHT.
Since a child I had a fascination for Biology at school. I went on to read Biology Science at Nottingham University for my degree. I worked in both research & product development for Unilever until, once married & with two children, life threw me a curved ball.
A spinal stroke left me partially paralysed from the mid chest down. Living in the Netherlands at the time, in support of my husband's career, I undertook all my primary rehabilitation there. I emerged from a year of rehabilitation as a very wobbly walker but with impaired arm function & no hand function at all. Medically I was described as a C4/5 incomplete tetraplegic. To my family I remained a wife & mother of two young children.
The rehabilitation I received, especially once admitted to a specialist spinal unit, was outstanding with a real focus on living as well & as independently as was safely possible.
Indeed, we went on to spend two years living in Muscat, Oman, after which we returned to live in The Netherlands again. Our last overseas posting was to Houston in the United States before in 2010 we returned to live in England. Of a total of 21 years living around the world, I lived 17 as a spinal cord injured individual.
Returning home led me to come under the care of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital & was where I was introduced to the national charity, the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA). In 2012 I was elected to become a Trustee for the SIA & I think you can already guess where my primary area of focus lies as a PRC!