A Life, A Family, A Community… changed.
In August 2018, Richard Tombs’ life changed for ever.
A loving husband, father of three daughters, ex-Wallaby, Waratah and beloved member of the Australian sporting community, Richard (known to his friends as Tombsy) suffered a severe neck injury while playing a social soccer game.
In an instant, his life changed. Diagnosed with an ‘C4 incomplete spinal’ injury, Tombsy found himself unable to move all of his limbs. He was unable to use a phone, computer or to feed himself without help, and required significant nurse support to manage his personal care.
Additionally, he was then diagnosed with spasticity, meaning all his muscles became permanently turned on. He suffers from neurological nerve pain and spasms, has restricted movement in his hands and wrists, and minimal movement and feeling in his legs.
With his recovery uncertain, Tombsy decided to tackle this challenge head on. As he did, the community got behind him. Receiving support from fellow ex-players, clubs, workmates and more, Tombsy began to make significant progress. Within a few months, he was able to stand again, and now is able to walk short distances. He has returned to work on a part-time basis.
However, it is a long road ahead. Tombsy is not letting his spinal cord injury or muscle spasticity stop him. He is still as determined as ever, and with his progress aims to not only beat his condition, but to raise awareness of muscle spasticity and spinal cord injuries, and support others who are affected.
With that in mind, Tombsy founded the Guns Out Spinal Foundation, to help bring together people going through the same troubles, raise awareness of the impact of spasticity, and most importantly, help fund research to find a cure.
The purpose of the Guns Out Spinal Foundation is around AWARENESS, SUPPORT and FUNDRAISING.
The Foundation’s vision is to ensure:
• People who have spinal cord injury and spasticity, as well as their friends and family, have a network of support.
• The wider audience are aware of the effect that spasticity has on individual lives, families and friends, and be willing to invest in research to help combat the condition.
• People with spasticity and spinal cord injuries can be treated effectively or even cured of their injury.
• People suffering with spasticity and spinal cord injuries will have a voice through the Guns Out for Tombsy community.