A female bouncer who broke her spine after tombstoning from a waterfall has described how her life was "ripped away", and is warning others not to do the same.29-year-old Danni Harding was running a security firm and had worked for 10 years on the doors of pubs across South Wales, until a summer day in 2018 when she decided to jump off a waterfall at Pontneddfechan, Glynneath.The Barry-born mum was left with a badly broken spine and prone to seizures, slurred speech and the loss of use of her limbs as a result of the trauma.She also ended up requiring a catheter, several operations and is reliant on a wheelchair if she needs to get around. And Danni has now made the decision to tell her story as a warning to others after a 13-year-old boy had to be airlifted to hospital by mountain rescue teams last week after leaping from the exact same spot."When I read about that lad it took me right back to when my own accident happened," she said."It was a boiling hot day and me and a group of friends had gone up to Sgwd Gwladys to cool down - we made packed lunches, took lilos and everything."
Danni added that she jumped off the highest waterfall there about nine times before disaster finally struck."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."
Danni would later discover her coccyx had snapped off and was now inverted inside her.
"I couldn't so much as sit down or go to the toilet - it was horrific," she said."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."Danni said the seizures were due to FND, or Functional Neurological Disorder, a rare medical condition she developed after the tombstoning incident."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."
She added: "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."And all this because, one day , I decided to jump off a waterfall for fun."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."