Young Woman Left Paralysed From Neck Down Following Sit-up Accident At A Gym

By Snehalkanodia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

A woman was paralysed from the neck down after falling from a piece of exercise equipment while she was doing sit-ups at the gym.

The young woman’s name is Marcelle Mancuso. She is 23 years old and a law school graduate from the São José do Rio Preto school in Brazil.

Last January of 2016, Mancuso was doing a simple inverted sit-up at a gym when the accident happened.

Inverted sit-ups requires a person to lie backwards on a piece of exercise apparatus and do sit-ups, with his or head head being the closest part of his or her body to the floor.

Mancuso stated: “It was just another normal day of training.

“I went to perform the abdominal inverted sit-up, and was upside down.

“I was attached to the equipment with a strip, which broke and the personal trainer could not hold me.”

She hit the back of her head on the gym floor, quickly losing the ability to move her body.

She explained: “My diagnosis was tetraplegia – no movement in my arms or legs.

“The doctors did not know if I would walk again or if I would stay on a bed forever.”

She broke the fifth vertebrae that is located in the neck section of her spine. One other vertebrae was also displaced and a third one was squashed.

Consequently, this compressed her spinal cord, which resulted in the paralysis of her body.

She was immediately rushed to hospital for emergency care. Doctors had to graft a bone to her damaged vertebrae and also place a metal plate in her spine.

While doctors were not initially certain if she would be able to walk again, Mancuse has taken some gradual steps over the last two years on her road to recovery.

She was able to move her toes and fingers after three days and took her first steps using a walking frame after one month.

The fitness fanatic stated: “After four months I started to improve my leg strength and five months after the accident I stopped having fainting and dizziness while walking.

“After six months I managed to walk and my legs did not sway anymore.”

She is now able to fully recover and lead a very active lifestyle.

She stated: “It sometimes feel like it was a nightmare I have woken from.

“I have a normal life today and thank God all the time for it!

“I learned to value the simplest things in life, such as getting out of bed and being able to brush my teeth without help.”