Australian television star Kerri-Anne has opened up about how her late husband’s accidental death has inspired her new mission.
John Kennerley, 78, tragically passed away in February 2019, three years after a freak accident falling from a balcony at a golf resort in Coffs Harbour left him paralysed.
Speaking to Sunrise on Tuesday, February 15, the 68-year-old said it was a “shocking and horrible” experience watching the love of her life struggle with the loss of his movement.
“Anybody who has been in that position of watching a person they love almost disintegrate, not being able to push a button, work a remote, feed themselves, dress themselves, knows that it’s 24/7 care,” she said.
“Its’ shocking, it’s terrible, but people live through it.”
Kennerley told the breakfast show that she was encouraging people to sign a petition asking the federal government to fund “ground-breaking” research by SpinalCure Australia for their new treatment on spinal cord injuries.
The radio host said her “deep personal experience” with spinal cord injuries has made her “passionate” about the cause.
According to 7News the therapy, called neurostimulation, “sends electrical impulses through pads that sit on the surface of the skin over the spinal cord.”
When paired with physical training, it’s meant to help rewire neural pathways that have been impaired.
“This research is ground-breaking and we’re really hoping that within five years people who suffer paraplegia or quadriplegia will actually get the ability to be able to walk,” Kennerley said.
“All we need people to do is sign the petition, we need to let the pollies know that this is important!”
The nationally operated not-for-profit is seeking $46 million in federal funding over five years to establish a nationwide neurostimulation Research and Treatment Program.