They injured their spinal cord, the “button” collection helps them return to an active life

Ladislav ended up in a wheelchair after a car accident, but continues to live an active life. Today, he is even the chairman of ParaCENTRA Fenix, which helps people with spinal cord injuries to return to life. On the occasion of International Spinal Cord Injury Day, the association organizes a charity collection. You can support them by sending a donation SMS or by purchasing a charity button on September 5 in the center of Brno.

Ladislav Loebe lived quite wildly, actively, played sports. The dream of joining the French Foreign Legion did not come true, but at least he spent part of his life in France, which he considers to be the most beautiful period of his life and at the same time a period of absolute freedom. He earned extra money in every possible way, helped the locals or slept under the open sea by the Atlantic.

Before the accident, at the age of twenty-three, he made a living as a bouncer in a nightclub, although he had originally trained as a carpenter. One of his passions became fatal for him – fast driving. A serious car accident more than twenty years ago confined him to a wheelchair. “I was driving alone, I didn’t have a seat belt and that’s how it turned out,” confides Loebe today.

Ladislav Loebe | Photo: ParaCENTRUM Fenix

A long recovery followed. Both physically and mentally. He got used to the wheelchair, he “trained” with it extensively in the housing estate not far from his home. “As it is said that walking is the healthiest for a person, for wheelchair users it is probably riding a wheelchair. Thanks to this, I was more fit and at the same time I could think and figure out what to do next,” explains Ladislav.

Subsequently, he got to the business academy and met the ParaCENTRUM Fenix ​​association, where he went to practice and also to social events. They helped him get to law school, and he then started to get involved in the organization’s activities not only as a lawyer. Today he is even its chairman.

Button collection or “The button connects” ParaCENTRA Fenix

  • It supports people with spinal cord injuries on the occasion of International Spinal Cord Injury Day, which is September 5.
  • Until Monday, September 5, it is possible to send a donation SMS to the number 87 777 in the form DMS KNOFLIK 30 or 60 or 90, depending on the preferred amount.
  • You can meet members of the organization on September 5 at náměstí Svobody in Brno and buy a charity button. The aim of the event is also to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries and the life of people in wheelchairs.
  • ParaCENTRUM Fenix ​​provides people with a spinal cord injury and their loved ones with health and social services ranging from counseling to physiotherapy, occupational therapy and personal assistance.
  • The most common causes of spinal cord injuries include traffic accidents, falls from a height, jumping into water and sports injuries.

Despite the accident and subsequent disability, his love for sports remained. He rides an off-road handbike, rows on a trainer and has recently taken up dancing. Thanks to Konta Bariéry’s collection, in cooperation with Aktuálně.cz, he got his own dance cart.

Ten thousand wheelchair users with spinal cord injuries live in the Czech Republic. Every year, 250 people are fatally injured in this way. The “button” collection and other charity events of the ParaCENTRUM Fenix ​​organization are intended to help them.

Fatal fall from the bike

Blanka Cabalková lived the hectic life of a civil engineer. Everything broke with one fall from the bike. “We were going down a hill and my brake cable broke, so I fell over the handlebars. The only thing I remember is how I told myself that I mustn’t fall on my head because I didn’t have a helmet,” describes Cabalková.

After convalescence, she and her husband moved into a barrier-free apartment thanks to insurance, in the previous one she wouldn’t even be able to get through the door with her wheelchair. At the ParaCENTER, Fenix ​​began to train, but mainly she connected with people with the same fate. “The exchange of experiences was also very useful. If someone has been in a wheelchair for a long time, they already know the various advantages and disadvantages better. From this, one can take the important things and come up with their own way to deal with the disability,” explains Cabalková.

Blanka Cabalková | Photo: ParaCENTRUM Fenix

Now she works at the center and is grateful for it, because she prefers to be around people than at home. She also hasn’t given up her bike and rides a handbike. Among other things, she advises clients on wheelchair adaptations in their apartments, and in the future she would like to devote herself to consulting in the field of wheelchair-accessible travel.

ParaCENTRUM Fenix ​​also helps when returning to work or offers physiotherapy or personal assistance. They also lend tools and help in starting a new life. In schools, they talk to students about how to prevent injuries and what comes next.

Fatal jump into the water

Jan Vočka got into a wheelchair after primary school, when he jumped headfirst into the water during the camp holidays. “Even today I can’t answer why I did it. It wasn’t the first time I was at that camp, I had bathed in the same place a year before. I knew it there. I don’t know what came into my mind. I cried for a couple of nights because of it, ” he says today.

Jan Vočka

Jan Vočka | Photo: ParaCENTRUM Fenix

His friends pulled him out of the water. “After the impact, my spine tingled. When they put me next to the water, I put my hands over my head. And that was all I could do. I didn’t move my legs anymore,” he continues. At the hospital, he had a four percent chance of surviving surgery on his injured spinal cord. Fortunately, he managed the procedure and subsequent complications.

He was also helped by people with the same experience, patiently assuring him that even though it will be harder now, life is not over. He realized this even more during his studies in the company of people with health problems. “It dawned on me that I’m still quite lucky. People went to school with me, for example, who knew they had at most five years left. Their muscles were weakening and there was nothing they could do about it. At the same time, they were not to blame,” explains Jan .

After various work and life experiences, today Fenix ​​works as a self-sufficiency instructor in ParaCENTRU in addition to PR.

The button collection is an opportunity to contribute, but also to learn more about people with spinal cord injuries. For example, finding out that wheelchair users live very active and interesting lives despite their handicap.

The article is in Czech

Tags: injured spinal cord button collection helps return active life

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