Meet the Team

Claire Thornber


The Cauda Equina Syndrome Association was founded by Claire Thornber in November 2012 following her own personal journal to recovery from a prolapsed disc in the lower back in September 2010. As a direct result of her poor experience of the treatment and support available in the NHS for Cauda Equina Syndrome patients, she recognised the need for a dedicated patient support group.

Claire previously ran her own business and supported her two children and as a direct result of her injury has dedicated her time to the Cauda Equina Syndrome Association.She lives in the Northwest of England with her family.

John Reynard

Medical Support

John Reynard trained in Oxford and London, completed research in Bristol and did his higher surgical training in London and New Zealand before returning to Oxford.

He is a Consultant Urological Surgeon based at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences in the University of Oxford, Head of Clinical Governance for the Division of Surgery and Oncology, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Visiting Consultant Urologist to the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

He is a member of Court of Examiners of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He is a founding member of the Oxford Stone Group and provides a specialist clinical stone service at The Churchill Hospital. He has been at the forefront of training surgeons and other healthcare workers in techniques to reduce error in healthcare (so called Human Factors Training).

He also holds a Masters degree in Medical Law and Ethics, is a co-author of Urology and the Law with Professor Richard Notley and James Badenoch QC, has a large medicolegal practice acting on instruction from Claimant Solicitors, the Medical Defence Union and NHSLA and has acted as an expert witness in The Royal Courts of Justice, at the GMC and in the Coroner’s Court.

Eddie Jones

Legal Advice

Eddie Jones, head of medical negligence at JMW and a specialist in cauda equina syndrome claims has been invited to the board of CESA as a director. Eddie brings with him a wealth of experience of cauda equina syndrome medical negligence and the devastating impact poor care can have on the lives of sufferers.

Eddie also has key contacts across both the legal and medical sector and will be a fantastic source of experience and knowledge that will give CESA credibility and help to drive us forward.

For more information or to contact Eddie, please visit our contact page or use the email link below

Ginny Aitchison

Communications Volunteer

Ginny lives in Norwich, Norfolk and was diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome in 2011, shortly after undergoing emergency spinal surgery.

Her aim is to help with any support for anyone who is going through a difficult times with CES, as she has first hand experience of living with the condition.

Miriam Dupree


Miriam has found the most beneficial support through forums and groups, sharing experiences and advice with fellow CES sufferers and hopes to be able to continue supporting others through our website.

Steven Smith


Steven runs our dedicated support group for men on Facebook
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