Cornwall teenager living in hospital 200 miles from home after being paralysed

  • Watch Charlotte Gay's report

A mother from St Austell says driving nearly 200 miles to see her paralysed daughter is "splitting her family into a thousand pieces".

Rosey Gregory, 19, suffered irrevocable damage after a horse landed on her during a horse riding accident while on holiday in Wales in April this year.

The teenager broke her neck and was taken to the nearest specialist hospital in Cardiff.

Seven months on she's still being treated in Wales and her family say there appears to be no sign of bringing her home or getting her treated closer to Cornwall.

Mother Julia and stepfather Chris say they feel like they just cross paths on the M5 driving between Cornwall and Wales. Credit: ITV News

Julia McQuillan-Wright, Rosey's mother, says this life-changing injury is "shattering" their family.

"It is huge, it's a life-changing injury but it's more than that - it's us as a family", she said.

"I feel right now we've been split into a thousand pieces and I'm just trying really hard just to keep it together and fighting hard and trying to make sense of something that is shattering."

Julia says Rosey cannot feed herself and struggles to breath well, among other injuries.

Rosey has autism and her family say horse riding was an activity she loved.

"She excelled beyond all our hopes and dreams and one where she was an equal with her peers" her family said.

Speaking over a video call from the hospital, Rosey said: "Home feels like far away most of the time.

"[I want to] do everything I did before, you know hanging out with my friends, riding Oscar, going to college, just going out and about really."

Rosey adored horse riding and won many prizes for her ability to ride and care for the animals. Credit: ITV News

Rosey is having regular physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy, but she and her family believe she is not making enough progress.

Julia says the family find it very upsetting Rosey is not well enough to leave the specialist spinal unit.

"Rosey can't come home right now. Our lovely, amazing county is not able to provide the care that she needs in terms of physio.

"I think that I become frustrated because we can see so much time in these units where they could be taken advantage of in terms of why can't you have two sessions of physio a day. And early days are really important in terms of spinal injury. 

"Rosey's 19 year old brain has an opportunity to learn to rewire some of these neural pathways. And without physio, without that help, she won't get that."

ITV West Country contacted Rosey's hospital who referred us to NHS England who are funding her treatment.

A spokesperson for NHS England South West told us they due to patient confidentiality they cannot discuss Rosey's case, but in a statement said:

"Our normal working arrangements mean that in similar cases, we would work with NHS Wales, Cornwall ICB and the clinical teams involved in the best interests of the patient.

"Each person and their care is different and we would also discuss this further with the family."

Rosey also loved her surf sessions with The Wave Project, the Cornish surf therapy charity for young people. Credit: Family handout

More than £80,000 has been fundraised for the "Rehab for Rosey" campaign. Her family hope when she is well enough to travel they will pay for private spinal cord stimulation which is not available in the UK.

Rosey's stepfather, Chris McQuillan-Wright, says the family are "determined" to give Rosey the best life possible.

"We've promised that she'll do everything she wants to do. It just may be a little more planned, a little more different, a lot more support."