You may know my son’s story. For once, I have no problem repeating it for those who do not. I have a very good reason for it that I have been bursting to share!
In 2009 my son was 25… a good looking, successful young man with a fast car, nice apartment near the coast and a very promising career. That ended on July 4th when he was left for dead in a Bournemouth alley, stabbed through the brain in an unprovoked attack.
I have written before of the terror of the next days as he underwent brain surgery to remove the shards of shattered bone from the left hemisphere of his brain. I have told of the weeks of heartache as we waited to see if he would live or die, while his brain bled and swelled, causing further damage to the brain stem itself and shared both the joy and the horror as he woke to what he himself has called a living hell.
He woke to paralysis down his right side, unable to speak, to swallow, even to drink. His sight was severely impaired, he had tinnitus and his ‘good’ left side was completely uncoordinated. Everything, even his face was affected. How his mind would be, we could not tell… he could barely communicate even with signs.
I have shared too the impossible, miraculous recovery he has made and my joy and pride with every step, both metaphorical and real, that he has been able to take.
It has not been an easy journey. He has fought with every fibre of his being, every ounce of determination and every drop of bloody minded stubbornness he could muster. There have been appalling low points when I have wondered if he could go on. There have been magnificent highs when I have bounced around like a demented hobbit at his successes.
I may be a hobbling hobbit tonight, but I am bouncing.
I am very proud of my son.
In the past three weeks, Nick has covered more ground under his own steam, using his own muscles and limbs, than he has been able to do in six years.
And on 9th August 2015, Nick will be taking part in the Para-Tri triathlon at Dorney Lake in Windsor. With him will be two of his physiotherapists from the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital. They will swim 750m and run 5km…. Nick will be cycling 20km.
This is typical of my son. He has only had the trike for three weeks and he’s racing…
… not only racing, but has set up an Indigogo campaign to raise funds and awareness for the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum, a charity that supports those affected by acquired brain injuries.
Support is critical to families facing the results of acquired brain injury, through illness or trauma or any sort. Information, such as that provided by the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum makes a real difference.
For much of his recovery, Nick has had no professional help… only his own determination and a bit of common sense and research from me. A year ago he decided he had gone as far as he could on his own and found a physiotherapist, Emily, at Elite Physical Medicine. She helped him a great deal, not only with his physical recovery, but with the fragile self-confidence of a young man left disabled. Emily also suggested he try the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital for more specialised neuro-physio.
The staff and therapists at the RBH have been just wonderful and Nick has moved forwards in ways impossible to quantify. It was at their invitation that he decided to join them in the triathlon. You see, they believed in him… they allow him hope and confidence… and that kind of support is both invisible and worth more than anything else that can be given.
Many of you have been moved by my son’s story in the past. Please, support him in any way you can… by making a small donation, or simply by sharing this article and the campaign as widely as you can. It makes a great deal of difference to Nick, to me and to other families struggling with the results of ABI.
You can read more about Nick’s journey by clicking on the ‘related posts’ or using the blog’s search bar… and of course, I will be sharing news as he gets closer to the event. Please help in any way you can. Thank you.
If you don’t see the REBLOG button, click into the post by clicking the title to bring it up… and thank you!
With magnificent support from the blogging community and others, Nick not only completed the triathlon, but raised £3000 for UKABIF. He later completed the gruelling London to Brighton cycle raid unsupported, raising further funds for charity.