31st October was life changing. After a gruelling 11 hours in planned surgery Alan woke up paralysed, only being able to move a toe. This outcome was not expected, after 2 weeks Alan was admitted to Southport Regional Spinal Unit, the aim he was told was to rehabilitate to a wheelchair lifestyle.
Progress was slow but the fantastic physiotherapists together with Alans sheer determination and mental strength paid off. Alan worked hard through his 3 months at Southport, started getting some feeling back in his legs, the first 'step' after 3 weeks in a bed was to learn to transfer into a wheelchair and build his upper strength. Alan took up every offer of help accessing 4 hours of physio a day. Getting up from the chair onto parallel bars, a walker and eventually crutches were huge achievements. Finally on 8th February Alan was discharged, an emotional day that we celebrated well.
Back home a new battle commenced.....how does Alan use his house, he couldn't get in or out unaided, no immediate support followed locally, gone was the 4 hours of physio a day. Alan described it as "falling off a cliff" Having a commode and perching stool delivered and your bed moved downstairs brought reality home hard. Family and friends rallied round and as in all situations are so valued but what Alan really needed was to continue his physio.
Physio through the local hospital is now being delivered along with access to the hydrotherapy pool but not without pushing for it. The staff are brilliant but its not enough, Alan is in pain pretty much all the time, spends a large part of his day stretching in order to walk. 80% less physio is A LOT. A specialist physiotherapist is available locally, Alan is paying for this himself at the moment but not being able to get back to work without more he can't do this for much longer. #chickenandegg
Ultimately the goal #walkderekthedog