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Life after rehab

Emily Quattrochi cheerleading in her wheelchair
Emily Quattrocchi para-cheerleading

21 February 2020

In July 2018, Emily Quattrocchi was involved in a car accident that changed her life, when she sustained a brain and spinal cord injury.

"Two weeks before my accident, I'd found out that I'd passed all my university subjects and would be graduating with a degree in media and communications, majoring in film."

"Suddenly everything changed."

"I spent seven months in hospital, with five of them in rehab at Royal Talbot."

There was only four days that Emily didn't have any visitors.

"It brought me so much joy, knowing I was loved by so many people."

"When I first had my injury, I couldn't breathe properly so I had to have a tracheostomy put in. It meant I couldn't talk for a while, and then I could only talk for ten minutes at a time. It was such a strange feeling."

"Eventually, I got it taken out and I could talk all the time. I could talk the nurses ears off, I could also sing!"

A music therapist would visit Emily, and they would sing her favorite songs.

"I loved it."

"I also want to shout out to the incredible nurses at Royal Talbot who taught me to be independent again."

Emily wants others to focus on what they can do, and not on what they can't.

"Cheerleading is something I never thought I'd do again."

"Then the Leisure and Lifestyle team at Talbot introduced me to para-cheerleading."

Emily now frequently takes part in para-cheerleading and participates in competitions as well.

She also wants to become a peer support worker at Royal Talbot.

"I want to help others, the way the peer supporters helped me," she said.

Emily has also been busy creating videos about her life and experiences after her accident. This video has been shown at several film festivals.

"We see such a small part of the patients recover even though this might be quite drastic. It's so inspiring to see Emily taking part in cheerleading, cinematography and using her experience to help others," said Spinal Cord Nurse Unit Manager, Stefani Manas.

Watch Emily's journey below:

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