Newport Gwent Dragons back rower Ed Jackson says he is on the “road to recovery” after revealing that he broke his neck diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool.
The Dragons last month announced that Jackson had undergone surgery for what it described as a “non-rugby related injury.” In a post on Facebook, Jackson, who has also played for Bath, Wasps and London Welsh, revealed that he suffered the injury at a friend’s barbecue on April 8 writing that he woke up after surgery with no feeling below the neck beyond some limited movement in his right arm.
“After hitting my head on the bottom I realised I couldn't swim to the surface because I'd lost movement in my legs and power in my arms,” Jackson wrote. “My dad (a retired GP) and friend Daffyd immediately knew something was wrong, pulled me to the surface and stabilised me in the pool until the ambulance came.”
The 28-year-old had suffered a fracture dislocation at the C6/7 joint and underwent surgery after doctors decided that too much pressure was being placed on his spinal cord. “In surgery they removed my shattered disc, relocated my vertebrae and fixed it in place with a metal plate,” Jackson continued. “I woke up in ICU, luckily completely coherent, however no feeling below my neck other than limited movement in my right arm.
“You never think this s--- is ever going to happen to you, but it did, now I've got to deal with it. This is my road to recovery…”
Jackson joined the Dragons from Wasps in 2015 and had only recently signed a contract extension in December. Jackson has received dozens of messages of support on social media as he faces an uncertain future.