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Impact of bladder and bowel dysfunction on a person with spinal cord injury

Writer Melanie Reid broke her neck in 2010 and was left doubly incontinent. Watch her talk about the impact her bladder & bowels now have on her life.

At the Association for Continence Advice we are privileged to have as one of our Patrons Melanie Reid, an award winning writer and columnist at The Times[1], who writes a column every Saturday about her experiences as a paralysed person called The Spinal Column.

In 2010, Melanie was riding a horse, when she fell off and broke her neck at C6/7. It was an incomplete break but she was left doubly incontinent and she spent a year in the Spinal Unit in Scotland learning how to manage having a paralysed bowel and a paralysed bladder.

Your task

Watch this interview with Melanie and reflect on the importance of good bladder and bowel function to a person with a spinal cord injury.

  • Were you aware of the vital role bladder and bowels play in the the overall health of a person with a spinal cord injury?
  • Do you think there is enough recognition of bladder and bowel needs in the general population?

Share your thoughts with fellow learners.


1. Melanie Reid: profile page. The Times website. [Cited 24 August 2018]. Available from:

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Understanding Continence Promotion: Effective Management of Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction in Adults

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