Play / pause Thumb Sprain

Thumb Sprain

  • Rachel Williamson
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


While I was representing the RAF playing Rugby Union

for the woman's team, it was probably, maybe two years

into representing, and I had an injury

in a training session.

I can't fully remember what happened.

I wasn't knocked out.

I just simply can't remember.

And as far as I believe I put my right hand down

either on a rugby ball or on the floor,

and I believe I bent my right thumb back

or something along those lines.

And I remember it swelled up.

It bruised.

It was painful.

And I think in sort of true sportsman style

you just yeah, it's nothing.

It's just a niggle.

Sort of fast forwards a little bit,

I never sort of gained that full movement back.

I only had like a side flicker.

I could never bend it.

And then for ages I had physio,

I had every treatment going, x-rays, the works.

All it was really was a sprain.

There was nothing sort of really serious about it.

No fracture, no nothing.

But some reason I just couldn't have this movement.

And then a year later down the line

I was still downgraded because of it,

and I couldn't actually fulfill

my sort of duties as a medic.

So I can't really do CPR effectively with one hand.

You can't lift a patient up onto a stretcher with one hand.

Because it was my right hand and me being right handed,

I was struggling to write,

I was struggling to just do the basics in my job.

And it got to a point where I was sent to the medical board

to see what my fitness for continuing

to serve in the RAF would be.

And I genuinely believed that I'd be staying in.

I thought, it's just a hand.

Most people can live with one hand

if they sometimes don't have a hand.

And I was literally, went in for an appointment,

saw the doctor at medical board,

and then two hours later told

that's the end of your RAF career.

Thank you for serving and good luck.

And it was like just a bombshell.

It never, I knew it was a possibility

'cause I worked in a med center.

I knew what the sort of journey could possibly be.

But I just never realized that it would be me

that'd be going down that route.

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