Catastrophic injury to Ex International and Bognor RFC Life member -PAUL CURTIS Sussex and England U23
Paul suffered a life-changing injury as a result of a mountain bike accident and he remains in hospital in Cardiff.
Paul Curtis was a valued player and friend who started his senior rugby career at Bognor Rugby Football Club in the early 1970s and although he has moved out of the area he has remained a very supportive member and friend throughout his life.
Paul and his family have lived in Wales since 1990 but he was involved in a very serious mountain bike accident in September 2016. Since then he has been bedridden in hospital in Cardiff where he remains completely paralysed from the chest down. Determined, resilient and courageous beyond words, Paul has recovered from several major medical issues during this time and is now able to eat for himself instead of being fed through a tube, and can breathe without assistance despite the loss of the use of part of his right lung and diaphragm.
In the past few days, Paul has finally been considered strong enough to be transferred into a wheelchair for a few hours a day. He is hoping to move to a spinal rehabilitation centre in the very near future in order to continue his journey. Paul has a long and difficult road ahead of him but he is determined to defy medical prognosis because his goal is to accompany his only daughter down the aisle when she gets married in October of this year.
Paul is hoping that he will have returned to his family home by then, but before this can happen, his house will have to be completely adapted to meet his extensive needs. These adaptations are going to be very costly.
Paul has been a Rugby Man throughout his entire life as is shown by his CV set out below.
Paul’s Rugby CV (dob 16/04/1959)
1970 – Bishop Luffa School
1973 – Joined Bognor RFC (Seniors 3rd and 4th teams)
1976 – Bognor 1st team and England U19s
1977 – Capped at County level and England U19
1979 – Joined Rosslyn Park and played regularly for the 1st team for 1980 – England U23
1981 – Full England squad training (collected travelling and non-travelling reserve cards
for the next decade)
1985 – Joined Harlequins RFC
Middlesex County ( including 2 Cup Finals during period ’85-’89)
1988 – London Division (3 seasons- including Divisional Winners Championship)
England B. John Player Cup winner with Harlequins
1990 – Bridgend RFC, Aberavon RFC (briefly) and Penclawdd RFC
2000 – Started a junior section at Penclawdd RFC and coached U8s. ( took this team
through to U15s).
Vice Chairman of Junior Rugby Section for 8 years with wife Rhian as Child
2003 – Coached Llwchwr Schools (District) 8yrs including 2 Cup Finals.
2009 – Coached Penclawdd RFC Youth Team (2 yrs)
In the accident Paul broke C4&5 vertebrae and as a consequence suffered severe trauma to his spinal cord resulting in paralysis from the chest down.
Paul has the use of both hands and arms but movement is limited. He is unable to make a fist with his left hand and has numbness down the side of his arm from shoulder to hand so that strength is greatly reduced. His right hand is quite similar to the left with respect to limited dexterity, numbness, strength etc but has a further problem with his right shoulder so movement of his right arm is limited too.
Paul damaged his right lung and right diaphragm in the accident to the extent that his right side now only works to 50% capacity of the left lung. Paralysis from the chest down means that Paul is doubly incontinent.
Rehabilitation will hopefully improve Paul’s hand strength, dexterity and movement. No other improvements are expected.
Paul’s son, Edward, has started a JustGiving Crowdfunding page to raise £50,000 to help pay for the necessary adaptations and modifications to his family home which are urgently needed to enable him to live as normal a life as possible. If you would like to support Paul and his family go to www.justgiving.com>PaulCurtis59 .
A group of senior members at Bognor RFC has been meeting in order to explore ways in which we can help support Paul and his family.
Our major fundraising event will be a Benefit Dinner/Auction to be held at the Club on Friday, 3rd November. This will take place in a heated marquee and will be limited to 150 people on tables of ten. It is definitely not a men-only function – wives/partners are most welcome. The cost will be £50 per head which will include entry to a grand raffle. In attendance will be several ex-England internationals such as Micky Skinner, Peter Winterbottom, Mike Teague and Paul Ackford.
The event is likely to be sold out and several tables have already been booked so, if you would like to reserve a table or individual tickets please contact
Phil Mead on 01243 821426, email email@example.com , or
John Haste on 01243 827007, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tickets will be available shortly and we would request prompt payment. To be fair to people on the waiting list failure to settle by 30th September would mean that we would need to re-allocate the places.
In the meantime if you wish to make a more immediate response, Paul’s son, Ed, has opened a JustGiving Crowdfunding appeal which has already reached £12,000. Should you wish to donate just go to www.justgiving.com>PaulCurtis59 .
Finally please take the time to read the document below, assembled by John Haste in conjunction with Paul’s family. It makes sad but fascinating reading.