United Kingdom

Mother, 29, was left wheelchair-bound after her coccyx SNAPPED OFF when she tombstoned off waterfall

A mother, 29, was left wheelchair-bound after her coccyx snapped off when she tombstoned off a waterfall at a Welsh beauty spot and smashed into a rock.

Danni Harding had travelled 45 miles with her friends to the Sgwd Gwladys waterfall in Pontneddfechan, Glynneath, where they decided to make the jump. 

The group had packed their own lunches and even taken lilos to enjoy the cool water. 

But the sunny day soon turned to a nightmare when Danni hit a rock under the water during her final leap, managing to pull herself out before she later collapsed. 

Dannie Harding, 29, pictured with her five-year-old son Kobi-Lee, had travelled 45 miles to the Sgwd Gwladys waterfall in Pontneddfechan, Glynneath before the accident in 2018

The mother from Barry, South Wales, said: 'I must have hit the bottom or a rock with my backside, because straight away I knew something was very wrong.

'But, being as headstrong as I am, I fronted out the pain and managed to walk out of there.

'It wasn't until we'd all hiked a bit further on that the pain overcame me and I collapsed.' 

She had been running a security firm before the horrific accident but had to stop when she lost the use of her limbs in the fall.

Her terrifying experience took place on a hot summer's day in 2018. She had already plunged off the fall nine times before the final accident.

Danni was left needing a catheter and a string of operations. She later discovered her coccyx had snapped off and was inverted inside her.

Danni later discovered her coccyx had snapped off and was inverted inside her

She said: 'I couldn't so much as sit down or go to the toilet - it was horrific.

'I had to have a catheter inserted in me and the bag filled up with blood - my son, who was only three at the time, is responsible for saving my life because he alerted hospital staff after I'd fallen on the floor in A&E and started having a fit.'

The seizures caused by FND, or Functional Neurological Disorder, a rare medical condition Danni developed after the accident.

She said: 'Had you talked to me about a year ago I doubt you'd have been able to understand me, because it caused my speech to sound really addled too.

'Two years of my life have been ripped away from me - I've lost work, had to shut down my business and even simple things like cooking a meal - which is one of my great passions - is beyond me now.

'I've been offered a care worker but I'm lucky enough to have lovely neighbours who do a lot for me with regard to everyday things, although that's hardly ideal.

'Now I'm still awaiting three operations - all of which will leave me bedridden for long periods, along with requiring a colostomy bag for about a year.

'What life will be like once I'm over those surgeries, I can't say. 

The Sgwd Gwladys waterfall in Glynneath, where the accident took place. Danni spoke out after hearing that a boy, 13, was airlifted to hospital after tombstoning in the same spot

'And all this because, one day, I decided to jump off a waterfall for fun.'

Danni decided to speak out after hearing that a 13-year-old boy had to be airlifted to hospital after leaping in the same spot.

She said: 'When I read about that lad it took me right back to when my own accident happened.

'Please, anyone reading this who might be thinking of doing the same thing, I beg you to reconsider.

'Don't let what happened to me happen to you.'

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