Student Overcomes Spinal Injury to Coach Former University Football Team

Spine Injury

In a testament to resilience and passion for the sport, a University of Bristol student has made a remarkable turnaround after a severe sports injury. Archie Wills-Johnson, hailing from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, has made his way back to the American football field, albeit in a new role. In December 2022, Wills-Johnson suffered a significant spinal cord injury while playing as a linebacker for his university team, the Bristol Barracuda, during a game against Southampton.

The injury was severe enough that Wills-Johnson underwent surgery to have a section of cartilage in his neck replaced with titanium. This serious setback came less than a year after he started playing American football as a biology student in 2021. The injury resulted in chronic pain, halting the 20 hours a week of contact sport he was accustomed to.

Despite the challenges posed by his injury, Wills-Johnson’s commitment to the sport and his team remained unshaken. With the support of both NHS physiotherapists and services provided by his university, he commenced a rigorous recovery process. Demonstrating an admirable strength of character, he eventually returned to his team, taking on the role of a coach.

In his new role, Wills-Johnson has been working diligently with the Bristol Barracuda, a squad that boasts 60 members.

Source: Yahoo News UK

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