Pete Reed, triple Olympic gold medal-winning rower, paralysed after spinal stroke
Last Updated: 30/10/19 11:11pm
Triple Olympic rowing gold medallist Pete Reed has revealed that the spinal stroke he recently suffered has left him paralysed from below his chest.
The 38-year-old won gold at three consecutive Olympic Games - Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Reed, a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, also won gold at five World Rowing Championships before retiring in 2018, having initially begun training for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
View this post on Instagram
Public SitRep: Today is #WorldStrokeDay so I thought I would update you on my current situation. Spinal strokes are very rare. They essentially starve the spinal cord of oxygen which can kill off the cells that transmit the signals sent between the brain and (in my case) the lower body. Doctors can’t be certain what caused my stroke. It was in the middle of my spine so I’m currently paralysed beneath my chest. Prognosis: there is no crystal ball. There is a very small chance I will make no recovery and a very small chance I will make a full recovery. Much more likely it will be somewhere in between. To what extent depends on the extent of the damage (which we can’t see) and how well I rehab. All the other news is great. My arms are still strong and my brain is still as average as it ever was. My personal support network continues to be bombproof (thank you so much) and I am handling myself every bit as well as you would hope. I’m keeping a diary of this whole experience - the ups, downs, challenges, triumphs. I’ll keep odd posts coming. Until then, enjoy the rugby (if you’re going to spend a prolonged period in hospital, it may as well be during the 2019 Rugby World Cup). Onwards. • Thank you for all the comments on my last post. Thanks also to all of you who have offered to help... right now I don’t even know what to ask for. I feel like I have everything I need at this stage.
He is now waiting to find out what the long-term effect of the spinal stroke will be after posting an update on his condition on his Instagram account.
"There is a very small chance I will make no recovery and a very small chance I will make a full recovery," he said in a post, having used his Instagram account on October 9 to confirm he had suffered a stroke.
"Much more likely it will be somewhere in between. To what extent depends on the extent of the damage (which we can't see) and how well I rehab.
"It was in the middle of my spine so I'm currently paralysed beneath my chest.
"My arms are still strong and my brain is still as average as it ever was."
A spinal stroke is a disruption in the blood supply to the spinal cord, although Reed says doctors do not know what caused his.