Catchphrase: Dion Dublin misses Homes Under the Hammer clue
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The 52-year-old – who is best known for helping Aston Villa reach their first FA Cup final in 43 years in 2000, and equalling the record for the most goals in a top division season in Coventry in the late 1990s – said that after sustaining his neck injury he has a different outlook on life. The tragic incident occurred in a December 1999 game against Sheffield.
He himself admitted just how lucky he was to have recovered so quickly, thanking specialist surgeon Andre Jackowski from The Birmingham Clinic.
Writing for the clinic Dion said: “The specialist told me that I had broken my neck.
“My wife Louise was there and I just broke down in tears because I thought: ‘Hold on a minute, what about my football career?’ I told the doctor I have to play again, I need to play again.
“He told me, ‘You can either let me do this operation and I will get you back playing in three or four months – or we’ll be looking at wheelchair brochures’.
“That put my life into perspective. It hit me when he said I may never walk again, play again or even feed myself.
“But the support I had at the time from those around me was amazing.
“If I hadn’t had the help from family, friends, my physio Jim Walker and Dr Barry Smith and my surgeon Mr Andre Jackowski, I can’t imagine where I would be now.”
Surgeon Mr Andre Jackowski performed incredible surgery, removing a part of Dion’s pelvis bone and using it as a new verteba to replace the crushed one.
Suffering a broken neck was not the first injury to disrupt Dion’s career.
Around 1992 – when playing for Manchester United – he fractured his leg, meaning he was out of action for six months, costing him a chance to play in the winning Premier League match which his team won.
According to Healthline, neck breaks usually take three months to heal, with an individual wearing a stiff neck brace for the duration of that time.
However, due to the close proximity with the spinal cord, neck break can cause longer-term damage including paralysis.
When recovering from a broken neck, temporary paralysis may occur, along with tingling in the feet and difficulty walking or balancing.
As neck breaks are usually a result of severe trauma, they must always be treated as medical emergencies and medical attention should always be sought after.
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