Kenny shares his story

Two women standing behind a man
Kenny McGonnell with partner Kristin Small and SRS Spinal Ward Nurse Unit Manager Anne Watts
September 15, 2017

When Albany resident Kenny McGonnell landed awkwardly after coming off his motorbike, he instantly knew the impact was bad.

What Kenny didn’t know was that he had fractured his thoracic vertebrae. He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital and later transferred to Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) State Rehabilitation Service (SRS) for recovery.

“I was coming into a corner, trying to get in front of my mate, when I hit a section of the track and flew over my handle bars. By time I had stopped rolling, I went to sit up and didn’t have any sensation in my legs,” Kenny said.

Kenny shared his story for Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of the daily lives of people who have a spinal cord injury. The theme “I can” challenges the perception of what it means to have a spinal cord injury.

While watching Kenny’s rehabilitation journey, SRS Spinal Ward Nurse Unit Manager Anne Watts said it was evident Kenny had a positive attitude and outlook on life despite being a paraplegic.

“Kenny looks at the possibilities rather than the things he can’t do. He was researching bike riding and surfing, and getting on with his rehabilitation,” Anne said.

To celebrate his 30th birthday, Kenny recently went to Rottnest Island and swam in the ocean for the first time since his accident.

The business owner and adventure-enthusiast admits that he has many challenges ahead but is excited for what the future holds and looks forward to getting back on his motorbike.

Watch Kenny share his story in the video below.

Visit the Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week website (external site) for more information.