Help Catarina Santos to walk again



On July 15, 2014, in a Trampolining training, Catarina suffered an ugly fall following a common jump in that gymnastics sport.

In the aftermath of that fall, Catarina became tetraplegic (a.k.a. quadriplegic) (no mobility from the neck down) due to fracture of two cervical vertebrae.

Although that sport has a seemingly dangerous acrobatic nature, among thousands of practitioners around the world throughout several decades, only 3 cases are known in similar circumstances.


Catarina's treatment and path to recovery have been continuously adjusted according to medical treatment guidelines and her latest progress.

After the accident, she was taken to Garcia de Orta Hospital, in Almada, where she stayed for 15 days in the Intensive Care Unit and was then sent to the Rehabilitation Medical Centre, in Alcoitão (specialized in such cases). However, after 4 months, rehabilitation reached a level that was not financially sustainable anymore - the daily fee is 400 EUR.

Despite the very reserved initial prognosis, Catarina has managed to surprise everyone and has been taking baby steps towards conquering back her mobility, making everyone believe that she can reach a high degree of rehabilitation.

Catarina and her mother, a Physical Therapist, have been working together in a daily basis to recover her mobility and prepare her for any upcoming surgeries.

It has been identified the possibility of carrying out a surgery which will allow her to recover much of the mobility. However, the ideal time, place and the medical team to perform the surgery must be carefully chosen.

The estimated cost of the operation is 50.000 EUR. That value, however, does not cover any travel costs, accommodation and other logistical needs. Furthermore, Catarina's mom needs to accompany her at all times.

Upon surgery(ies) completion, Catarina will have to return to daily physiotherapy sessions. For her specific situation, some places outside Portugal are already referenced but anyhow, if confirmed as the best option, they represent more hefty expenses.

In short, her path to recovery is long, winding and expensive.
All logistic and financial help is welcome!

Your contribution and support, financial or moral, are critical factors in Catarina's epic crusade to recovery!


The compulsory insurance hired by the competent authorities only covers 5000 EUR worth expenses. For that reason, we need to count on the solidarity of all to ensure that Catarina has access to treatment.

The primary goal of raising funds for Catarina is to ensure direct access to clinical procedures and also to cover previous or future expenses.

So, with your help we intend to:

1. Ensure access to the specialized surgery
Estimated cost: 50.000 EUR

2. Ensure access to specialized physiotherapy sessions before and after the operation
Estimated cost: to determine

3. Ensure access to orthopedic appliances
The items can be acquired with money or by recycling plastic bottle caps.

A wheelchair, adapted to Catarina's needs, has been acquired with the help of some parents and athletes of SCP gymnastics classes, in collaboration with Sporting Clube de Portugal Foundation. Check the chair delivery moment!

In the acquisition list there is also:
- 1 Electric Pedal Device
- 1 Bathing Chair

4. Ensure settlement of incurred medical expenses
Hospitalization expenses at Garcia de Orta: to determine
Hospitalization expenses at Alcoitão: 48.000 EUR (aprox.)

Family Situation

Catarina's situation itself is dramatic but the family's situation resulting from the accident is not the best either.

Following the events, the family had to rent adequate housing, with the comfort, proper setup and access, since they lived in an apartment on the 3rd floor, in a building without elevator. Thus, the family is to pay two rents because they were not able to break free from bank obligations. The real estate situation in Portugal is not helping out - at the moment, it is very hard to sell or rent their previous residence.

Aggravating it all, in order to provide ongoing assistance to Catarina, her mother had to give up her source of income. On one hand, Catarina benefits from her mother's dedication but, on the other hand, the family has one less income, now.

Thus, by supporting Catarina in her treatments, we are also indirectly supporting the family to relieve the weight upon them.