Brachial Plexus

Antony Smyth

Brachial – located between the head and the shoulder

Plexus – collection of nerves

Injury to the brachial plexus usually involves high velocity forces or trauma to the supraclavicular area.

The patient’s head and shoulder strike the ground and are separated by the force, and the brachial plexus is tractioned between the two structures.

Damage to the brachial plexus can cause paralysis.

In Antony’s case, his injury was caused when he was flung out of a moving car when he was five years old.

A subsequent experimental nerve transplant was attempted at Johannesburg General hospital but was unsuccessful.

Dr Russell Hill

“The Gift”

People remember me. That is my gift.

Imagine an advantage like that? What would you give to have most of the people you meet remember you?

I gave my right arm, and so far, it has been worth it.

Actually, I still have a right arm, it just looks a bit funny and does not work properly.

People often wonder, and some ask, how I manage to do stuff with only one arm.

What I say to them is this: Imagine that everyone else but you had three arms, and they kept asking you how you manage to do stuff with only two arms. What would you say?

Sometimes I catch a reflection of myself in a mirror or shop window. It is still a bit of a shock for me to see myself with an arm like mine, because you do forget.

It is during these split seconds that I admire my friends and families because they accept me as I am, and if they can, then so do I.

People don’t actually remember me… they remember my arm, but it’s all the same to me because it is this arm that has defined my character.

Ant Smyth
Cape Town, October 2006

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