Faces of Tamworth: Kate McDonald defies doctors and walks again

HAPPY COUPLE: Tamworth's Kate McDonald and David Colton will walk down the aisle on Saturday two and a half years after Kate was diagnosed as quadriplegic.

HAPPY COUPLE: Tamworth's Kate McDonald and David Colton will walk down the aisle on Saturday two and a half years after Kate was diagnosed as quadriplegic.

She’s Tamworth’s miracle woman. Kate McDonald was left a quadriplegic after a trampoline accident, but defied the doctors to walk again. The Leader caught up with her after she took her first steps after the accident in 2015, then again two years later when she walked down the isle at her wedding.

A TAMWORTH woman who was left quadriplegic after a horrific trampoline accident has taken miraculous first steps.

Kate McDonald, a former Tamworth High student who now lives in Newcastle, has defied the odds and walked again. 

It was an “impossible dream” for Ms McDonald, who was told by doctors she would have little to no chance of walking again or using her hands after a freak trampoline accident on January 11 this year. 

“In a split second my life changed forever,” Ms McDonald said on Facebook and shared with The Leader

“After being paralysed from the shoulders down and being diagnosed a quadriplegic, I required full-time care that involved nurses rolling me every few hours to prevent pressure sores, and being fed, dressed and showered by others. 

“I experienced (and still do) intense spasms, nerve, physical and emotional pain and fatigue.

“For months, the prospect of scratching my face again, let alone walking’ seemed like an impossible dream.

“Fortunately, my injury was incomplete, meaning there was a chance I could have some improvement in sensation, movement and function.”

Despite the bleak prognosis in the early stages, she slowly learned new ways of completing basic tasks. 

“I am so blessed to be able to report that I am able to walk again (even if I do look like a puppet at times),” Ms McDonald said. 

Kate McDonald

Kate McDonald

Her father, Craig, who is principal at Duri Public School, has told The Leader it was “unbelievable” and “fantastic” that his daughter was able to walk again with a cane. 

“If I was a believer, I’d say it was a miracle,” he said. 

“It just doesn’t happen with that kind of injury... to make that recovery is just unbelievable.

“The surgeons who operated on her had no expectation of her doing anything at all.

“They were beside themselves when they saw what she could do. 

“She’s a very lucky girl in that respect.”

Ms McDonald said she was optimistic after the “terrifying and beyond challenging experience” and despite the dire circumstances, there were some things she wouldn’t change. 

“I have met some of the most amazing people and I have learnt the importance of patience, being grateful, living in the moment, doing what I love, spending time with those that uplift me and most importantly to stay away from trampolines,” Ms McDonald said. 

“I will continue my rehabilitation in Newcastle where I can’t wait to start my new life with David Colton.”

She said she was overwhelmed by the generosity and support from the Tamworth community and others who saw her through the darker days, especially her family and her partner for their “unconditional love and support”. 

Kate McDonald to walk down the aisle two years after severing spine – November, 2017

There won’t be a dry eye in Fullerton Cove’s Stanley Park on Saturday, as Tamworth’s Kate McDonald walks down the aisle just two and a half years after being told she would never walk again.

A freak trampoline accident turned the vibrant psychologist’s world upside down in January 2015, with doctors telling her at the time that she had little chance of ever regaining the use of her arms or legs.

Just a few months later the tenacious battler defied the odds to take her first steps, and with fiance David Colton by her side has been kicking goals ever since.

“It is pretty overwhelming and surreal – I am so grateful to be able to walk down the aisle,” Ms McDonald said.

“At one stage I never dreamt that this could happen. It is very exciting.” 

The happy couple will jet to Hawaii on Tuesday.

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