The Tom Wheeler Project Part 2

Sep 8, 2011
by Film This Tyler  
The Tom Wheeler Project will be up soon check back later -

Part 2 of this 3 part series - Tom goes into more detail about his Brachial Plexus injury and his experience so far.

In case you missed Part 1 it can be found here.

First of all I would just like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the people who have left such kind and positive comments on numerous forums and websites, It's really helping me mentally and to progress my recovery forward.

Views: 7,475    Faves: 66    Comments: 5

I did mention in Part 1 that I had experienced serious damage to my brachial plexus, this is set of 5 nerves that exit the spine at the neck and control your arm. In my case I had torn 4 of the 5 nerves permanently out of my spine leaving my right arm completely paralyzed. The one nerve still remaining has been grafted with nerves from my leg and side and may give me some limited movement within my bicep and forearm. I spent close to 2 weeks in hospital with 3 MRI scans which themselves were pretty daunting and then spent 13 hours straight on the operating table.

It was a horrible feeling lying on the floor after the accident trying to work out what had happened, it was a messy situation to be in and I'm just glad I have only lost the use of my arm, I could have lost so much more. The first couple of weeks after leaving hospital were so hard, I went from being a super active guy on the bike 4-5 times a week and in full time work to a guy who couldn't stay awake for more than a couple of hours and found it extremely difficult to dress himself.

One thing that has taken me by surprise is the nerve pain, I had thought that it couldn't be too bad if I can't feel my arm at least it can't hurt, how wrong could I be. I have a constant tingling pain in my hand and have waves of electric shock and crazy pulsing pains.

Every day is hard but I'm just so glad to be recovering and back in work. I still love mountain biking and don't plan on stopping any time soon, its actually pretty rad riding one handed!

A huge thanks to my family, Mojo Suspension and Thomas Bannister (thanks for popping down and helping me understand the injury).

Posted In:


  • 15 0
 Inspiring to see the way you have dealt with this so far Tom. Keep up your positive attitude and keep taking things a day at a time. Good luck with your recovery.
  • 5 0

What an amazing story and journey you've begun! I find your attitude and story inspiring as a mother of a child with a permanent brachial plexus injury to her right arm AND as a board of director member for the United Brachial Plexus Network ( I'm wondering if you'd be interested in sharing your story with our community in some manner? I'd love to connect with you if we could. Please feel free to email me at if you're interested in sharing your experience. We are always looking for sharable moments, especially in the area of adult traumatic bpi! Best wishes for continued progress in recovery.

Tanya Jennison
UBPN Board of Directors
Amber's Mom, ROBPI
  • 7 0
 Wow mate..can't wait to see you riding the one handed's amazing how bikes can aid your recovery! Keep cool...
  • 6 0
 All the best mate!
  • 1 0
 aww man that just sucks, I hope you feel less pain very soon and have a full recovery eventually.

I know what you mean when you talk about the pain from nerve damage, what you describe is exactly what I feel with my knee/leg injury. The doctor said it's just nerve damage, I tried to tell him how much pain it causes 24/7 but he didn't seem to believe it. Hopefully your Doctors are top notch.

Best of luck and Heal up quick dude.
  • 1 0
 Tom, you are truly inspirational. I am currently sitting at home after breaking my leg very badly while riding DH and your story is exactly what I needed to gain some perspective. Your amazingly positive atitude toward your much more substantial injury helps me (and many others I am sure) to remember to stay strong and look forward to the future regardless of the challenges that we may face. You are such a strong and inspiring person and I thank you sincerly for sharing your story with us. Wishing you a speedy recovery and keep the story going!
  • 1 0
 dude is hella lucky and maybe theses neck braces leatt and a stars will keep these kind of injury's to a minimum. but it also shows you dont give and you can do what you love no matter what!
  • 1 0
 I think I neck brace would have done more damage if Tom had been wearing one. The crash was a direct shoulder tackle to a tree and not his head, if Tom had been wearing a neck brace the force of the impact would have been focused through the brace and we suspect it would have caused even more injury. Tom didn't break his neck thankfully, his injury was caused by his arm and his head wrapping around opposite sides of the tree due a dead stop from 30 mph. This was a 'one in a million' type accident.
  • 1 0
 after you saying that I watched the video again and saw the tree take out his shoulder I was more focused on his head and how it got bent hitting the ground thanks wheelz1 and yeah its is not a common thing but sucks totally!
  • 1 0
 sorry if im thick tom. so u actually still ride DH? cause if u do. respect to you man and wow that trully inspirational stuff
  • 1 0
 tom doesnt ride downhill but rides local trails and corners
  • 1 0
 Continuous on this thrown, you will stand out from it only bigger... RESPECT !
  • 1 0
 Looking forward to the Tom Wheeler Project Part 4 "Tom continues to slay it on the bike and in life"
  • 1 0
 tom, what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger!! heal up, ride more mate'
  • 1 0
 Hope you get well and better soon mate!!!!!
  • 1 0
 you are a real rider man! keep you head up and stay strong! respect
  • 1 0
 Tom Good Luck and be strong.
  • 1 0
 healing vibes to the UK!!!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Good luck chief,
  • 1 0
 get well soon!

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