Alan Miles, our MD, asked Robin to write up his journey over last 12 months – it is a truly inspirational story.
It is just over a year since the injury incident to my back that left me paralysed from the neck down. I was hospitalised in Derby, then to a specialist spinal injury unit in Sheffield. From there, early in December where I was just starting to get strength back to all your limbs, I was moved again to a rehabilitation centre near Newark – where I am beginning recovery process.
One of the many changes in my current daily regime to what it was pre accident is I still have to rely on staff members for a lot of my personal care. This I found very frustrating initially, but as time has move on, with the help everyone around me, my body is starting to function correctly, but slowly. With the rehabilitation assistance here in Nottinghamshire it is amazing what your body can regenerate, I can use a knife and fork in each hand which 3 months ago was impossible. Walking with a Zimmer frame is quite incredible, this function I under take most weekday mornings and then in the afternoon stretching of the muscles in my arms and shoulders which at times it brings tears to my eyes, because of the pain.
However, there is a very interesting saying in the medical profession, No pain, No gain and it is certainly true, as I know daily.
Right from the very start of this recovery journey, I knew there was no point feeling sorry for myself, mind set was vital to me moving forward, setting goals for myself, which some people thought were not achievable in a month of Sundays. This made me more determined to succeed and continue to get back to some form of normal life.
A particular goal to be archived was to drive a car again, with any spinal injuries legally the DVLA must be informed, they can take your driving licence away from you, may even be permantly. However, I was put forward by the Sheffield Spine unit to undertake a driving assessment exam, run by the NHS who report directly to the DVLA with their findings. The test looked at mental, cognitive and driving abilities, over 2.5 hours which included driving a car.
I passed the assessment and can drive both an automatic and a manual vehicle without any adduptatoins. A goal achived.
What I am saying, in positivity, is that we all may face adversity in our lives at some point but we have to remain focused to overcome the issues placed in front of us whatever they may be, accept all the help you can. Because we will all need help to recover.
In my case it is the spinal injury, where I was informed, that I may wheelchair bound for the rest of my life, which I was determined to overcome.
With the enormous help from family, friends and work colleagues I am forthright, that I will lead as a near normal life as possible. The support, I have received from the rehabilitation facility and everyone else, is fantastic which I will be ever greatful for.
Recently, I attended the management conference in Warrington and give a presentation on part of the business I am involved in. What an emotional experience it was, ranging from apprehension, frightening to fantastic delight. The reception I received from my colleagues was for a time quite overwhelming, but between all involved, I am sure they were delighted to see me once again, in full flight!
I hope to be going home by the end of June which is very exciting, to be with my wife and daughter, wider family and friends. This will be a very strange and an emotional time for all of us but again together we will be stronger and smile about the passed events. From this time last year to now what a journey! I am aware how mindset determination and stubbornness has and continues to aid my recovery, but believe me I could not have achieved my current pathway without all of your help and friendship.
There is another saying I think about constantly, Stronger together we will Overcome.