Ellie Dean - RST Case Study

Marathon feat made possible by RST support

Courageous Ellie Dean made news headlines when she walked across the finish line of the Miami marathon. Ellie had wheeled the half marathon course and left her chair to walk the final couple of miles.

Her brave steps came five years after traumatic surgery on a tumour left her paralysed from the waist down.

But with the support of The Rooprai Trust (RST), Ellie was able to access vital therapy in America that has helped restore a little movement.

Ellie said: “Doing the Miami marathon, I felt honoured and proud to support the charity by wearing the RST T-shirt. Even being miles away in Miami, I could still feel all the RST love from back home on social media.”

In 2015, when Ellie was 14, she was told she had a tumour the size of a small watermelon inside her lung. She had to have an emergency operation to remove part of the tumour that was compressing on her spine.

A few weeks after her initial operation, Ellie had to have further major surgery to remove the rest of the tumour. The operation was successful, but during the operation the aorta was accidentally nicked and Ellie lost six litres of blood.

She spent eight days in a medically induced coma in intensive care; her organs were failing and she was suffering from abnormal blood pressure rates. The failure of the blood supply to the spinal cord caused damage that left her paralysed.

Ellie was introduced to RST through Prime Physio, in Cambridge. She had found out about a therapy centre in America called Neurofit360, but struggled to fund the trips.

She said: “It’s an amazing gym that I had been to a few times over the years. Unfortunately, it’s a very costly trip, so my aunt started to reach out to some charities for help and that’s when RST kindly offered their support which my family and I were very grateful for.

“My experience with RST has been amazing, they have always been so supportive, encouraging and lovely to me.

“They are so understanding and are always there, happy to help whenever and however they can. I feel very lucky to have met such wonderful people and have had such amazing uplifting support from them.”

She believes that anyone who finds themselves in a similar position should make contact with Andy and Marrianne. “Definitely reach out to RST if you would like some help and support with your recovery. From my experience I feel that they will definitely try to help you in any way they can.

“Not only will you gain the help, support and positivity from the RST team, but also be so inspired by Marrianne’s hard work and determination. She’s incredible and inspiring to me and many others with a spinal cord injury.”