Following a spinal cord injury sustained in a light aircraft crash, Neil, 65, had one goal: to walk independently again. Despite being told by his spinal injury consultant that this would likely never happen.
Sixteen months after the accident that nearly claimed his life, Neil, quite literally, made big strides towards his goal thanks to activity-based therapy at Neurokinex in Crawley. He was able to walk outdoors and upstairs, having progressed from walking with a frame to crutches and then sticks.
Neil’s first steps to recovery were on the Neurokinex Step Up Scheme. Not only did it provide him with six free sessions, it also gave him that all-important focus, support and hope after he left hospital.
“The Step Up Scheme is an incredible programme which stops any hesitancy about what to do next,” says Neil. “Those first six sessions bring structure and shape at a time when everything is difficult to process. They are lifechanging.”
Things are certainly looking more positive now for Neil who, just six months after his accident, was told by his consultant he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. “The care I received at all the hospitals was truly magnificent,” says Neil. “However, at such an early stage of recovery to be told there is ‘no hope’ is devastating to hear: I didn’t want to accept what I was told.”
Neil started working with a local NHS physiotherapist and was making good progress. “I could feel there was more I could achieve and didn’t want to accept that I wouldn’t walk again,” he says. “I had been advised to try Neurokinex as the way they work is different, yet complementary, to traditional physiotherapy,” he says. “Their attitude and mindset is completely different from the hospital. They asked me what I wanted to achieve and when I replied, ‘walk again’ they set about focusing on doing just that.
“The team at Neurokinex push me hard – which is just fine; it’s exactly what I want and what I need!” says Neil.
His sessions comprise a wide variety of conditioning exercises, gait analysis and functional-led goals. Neurokinex focuses on strengthening his body as a whole and helping him to re-learn his walking pattern.
Not being local to Neurokinex, Neil does intensive blocks of three-day sessions every four weeks.In addition, he combines his Neurokinex therapy with on-going physiotherapy sessions closer to home. “My NHS Physio is excellent and has contributed greatly to my progress,” he explains. “She works in tandem with Neurokinex and this, combined with daily exercise at home that I do myself, is critical to my recovery.
“Thanks to Neurokinex, I’m well on my way to full independence and I can’t thank them enough for their help and belief in me.”