Reacting to difficult news

Hearing the news

Reacting to difficult news

Image from The Big Draw 2009
Image from The Big Draw 2009

Finding out that your husband, wife or child has an SCI, whether through an accident or illness, can be an immensely traumatic and distressing time for anyone.


During the early stages of an SCI, the doctors will explain the nature of your relative’s injury and the extent of any paralysis, but you may have to wait some time before knowing the likely prognosis for the future. Doctors are not always able to give a diagnosis straight away as it can take a long time for the body to recover from the initial shock.

During this period, it is understandable that you may feel completely numb and may find it difficult accepting the reality or extent of the injury. In cases of major trauma there may also be the added anxiety of not knowing whether your relative is going to survive.

You may find that you have difficulty taking in all the information that you are given, so do not be afraid to ask the hospital staff what is happening and, if necessary, ask them to re-explain your relative’s medical condition and what will be happening to them during their rehabilitation.


“As soon as I found out that he was alive, nothing else mattered”.