‘If my wife and daughter had not been there I wouldn’t have survived’ - retiring Harold Wood teacher
PUBLISHED: 18:14 16 July 2014 | UPDATED: 18:14 16 July 2014
The vetebra Richard Moore cracked when he collided headfirst with a wall during a game of squash was “the one they break when they hang people”.
He had been chasing a shot during a match with his daughter’s boyfriend while on a family holiday - and in seconds his life changed dramatically.
Richard, then an assistant head at Redden Court School in Harold Wood, believes his life was saved by his family.
“It was a stroke of luck really because I was resuscitated in the squash court by my wife and daughter.
“If they’d not been there I would not have survived.”
Following the incident, now more than three years ago, 59-year-old Richard spent about nine months in hospital. For the first three he was completely paralysed, but since then he’s been on the mend.
The damage to his neck has recovered but his spinal cord injury will be with him for life.
Carers visit the retired maths teacher at his home on Mount Pleasant in Brentwood on a daily basis - but Richard is relatively mobile and has a positive attitude.
“I’ve always taken the view that you’ve got to make the most of what you’ve got,” he said.
Sadly, Richard never returned to work full-time at the school he devoted his life to - but that didn’t stop them throwing him a retirement party on Saturday.
Colleagues, friends and family gathered at the Cotswold Road school for the event, and Richard surprised even himself by recognising and remembering the name of one of his first ever students.
“I have very fond memories of my 37 years at Redden Court,” he said.
“I’m really thankful to them for all the support they’ve given me right from day one - I could not have asked for better support.”
Redden Court head Paul Ward praised Richard’s “courage and perserverance”.
“Students have always appreciated his dedication, knowledge and sense of humour,” he said.
“He has always encouraged every student to be the best they can be. He is a teacher they will remember all their lives.
“I salute his courage and perseverance - he is an inspiration to us all.”