Maxi Director Robin Allan Update

We asked robin to do an article for our website on his time in hospital


My life changed in a split second on Sunday May 28th at 20:30.

I was leaving a house local to where I live. As I left the house I stumbled, did not fall, but my head moved violently forward and backwards.

As a result of the stumbling my legs felt very different, there was a tingling in both legs from toes to my groin. I walked home, and later that evening went upstairs to bed just before 22:00.

Now for the life changing incident, suddenly while sitting on the bed I collapsed onto the floor on my left side between the fitted wardrobes and the bed. At first I thought I had sustained a stroke, very fortunately I could speak and had movement of my head shoulders.

Three hours later I was admitted into hopsital.

After scans and x-rays on Monday, my family and I were informed that my spine close to my neck, at C5-6 discs had been compressed and had bruised my spinal cord.This left me virtually paralyzed from my neck down and bed ridden. Several days after I was admitted to hospital, I was informed that I would be moved to a specialist spinal unit at the Princess Royal Spinal Unit in Sheffield as they are able to provide the specialist medical and physical rehabilitation which I required.

I remained in the hospital in Derby until the 12th July with very little physiotherapy.

After moving to Sheffield, I was assessed by their teams and a therapies program was devised. This included stretching as well as occupational therapy and time in the gym with the physios. I began to get out of bed with assistance and made significant progress with hands, arms, and leg movements. Also, being able to use a phone.

After nearly 6 months in Sheffield, I have recently moved to a different specialist facility in Nottinghamshire to further my physical rehabilitation. I am making more progress, now beginning to walk further, with the aid of a walking frame and assistance.

Throughout this time, there has been highs and lows in my attitude to life. At a point when I was in Derby, I said to myself ‘get a hold of yourself man, you have got to come to terms with the situation and beat it’. There is a saying ‘live for today, do not care about tomorrow’, my attitude was ‘I am alive today, tomorrow will come and tomorrows will keep coming’.

This has helped me to face the adversity, keep positive and keep focused. While I have been in hospital, I have found it crucial to my recovery, to talk to others about what I am going through. Most importantly, I have listened to staff and other patient’s about their life experiences and how that has shaped their outlooks on life. This has helped me to process my own situation, using their experiences to remain focussed on being positive.

I feel that this positivity and one’s psychological outlook, has been imperative to my recovery. I have learnt so much about this over the last 6 months.

Despite this, there have been, and I am sure will continue to be so, moments of frustration. This unfortunately is part of my journey and a part of all of our lives. I feel that it is how you respond to these moments, that will allow you to overcome these adversities. What I feel most frustrated about is the speed of the recovery. Sometimes I feel that I am not making noticeable progress, however it is interesting to hear the difference that visitors see, when they have not seen me for a while. I use these comments to motivate me to remain positive and continue the hard work.

We are all on a journey in life and adversities will affect us all at some point in time. Talk, listen, keep a positive psychological attitude and things will improve. We are only on this earth once, therefore make the most of it!