May 2012: Melanie Burnside

 Melanie Burnside with her son

"At 24 years old, I suffered a spinal cord injury in a motorcycle accident. I didn't think then that 15 years later, I would be a Mum to 3 sons! Least of all did I expect to be able to do the things that every other Mum does on a daily basis.

At the time, I was working hard at my career in television post-production. This unfortunately came to a grinding halt as I was based in central London and the building was in-accessible. I also had to pull out of buying the flat that I had my heart set on as it was on the second-floor.

A few years went by as I came to terms with what had happened. I thought that I would never meet anyone that wanted to be with me, but three years after my accident, I met my husband, and we had our three sons, now aged 9, 7 & 2.

As a mentor, I support other women who are in a similar situation. I feel that if I could meet myself when I was first injured, I would have been able to offer such a lot of advice and re-assurance. I vividly remember all the worries I had when I was about to become a Mum and how I overcame them. There are a lot of tips and tricks that I have learnt that I am keen to share.

I live my life in the same way as any other Mum and plan to return to my career when my youngest starts school."

Kyra, the Mentoring Manager says, “Mel has made many personal hospital visits to the individuals she is supporting and has given so much of her time and energy towards building a strong rapport with the women she mentors. Mel has had so much valuable experience in adjusting to life with a spinal cord injury and she shares it honestly and generously. It is a privilege to have Mel on the team of mentors.”