Brave Conor: ‘I won’t let scrum accident define me’
TEENAGER Conor Tweedy insists he will not be defined by his major scrum accident and wants to attend his school semi-formal in a wheelchair.
It is two weeks today since the prop's world was turned upside down when he suffered a major spinal cord injury packing down for the Gregory Terrace Second XV in GPS rugby.
His red-and-black Terrace No. 3 jersey had to be cut off him for emergency surgery the same day after he was rushed by ambulance to Princess Alexandra Hospital with a police escort.
Yesterday, the Year 11 schoolboy was able to slowly move his left arm to brush an itch on his nose but he does not yet have feeling to do so with his fingers.
He has paralysis of the muscles in the arms and legs but good movement in his neck and head, as he showed yesterday.
Like any 16-year-old boy he pulled back with a smile, as best he could, when father Sean lent in to plant a kiss on his right cheek for a photo requested by The Courier-Mail photographer Annette Dew.
"Normal habits are good," Mr Tweedy said.
In his hospital bed, Conor was able to be tilted semi-upright from the waist to talk quietly of his hopes for the future.
"Just being able to move myself around and take care of myself would be very good," he said.
"Getting movement back in my core and hands would be great and I try to move muscles as much as possible (with therapists).
"I'm still a rugby fan, I'll still watch my school team play (by livestream from his bed today) and if I can one day, way in the future, I might get back into it.
"It might be in a wheelchair and I'll have to fight off mum.
"I don't go over what happened (in the scrum). There's no point … there's nothing I could have done to stop it anyway. It was just one of those things that happen."
A steady stream of Terrace schoolmates have visited him and an October target to attend his semi-formal is also an ambition.
Earlier in the week Conor was visited by sport star Quade Cooper, who was touched by the teen's courage and positive attitude.
The outpouring of support for young Tweedy is taking a concrete form with a trust formed for tax-deductible donations at conortweedy.com/donatenow. It will help fund the equipment, extensive therapy and support he needs because it will be up to nine months before a fuller picture on his recovery is known.