We are raising money for Care for Veterans because they are providing incredible support to people, like Andy, who have served us all.
Sixteen years ago, ex-RAF airman, Andy, acquired a serious brain injury when he was knocked off his bicycle, leaving him with limited use of his arms and unable to walk.
Before his accident, Andy was a keen mountaineer who had scaled El Capitan in Yosemite National Park; but now he faced his biggest challenge yet.
Due to lack of appropriate care where he lived, Andy found himself in a nursing home for elderly people, without stimulation and the necessary therapy to begin rehabilitation. He began to deteriorate rapidly. Thankfully, his family found Care for Veterans and he was transferred to the facility in 2005.
With intensive physiotherapy, Andy made amazing progress. He regained some movement and improved his posture, and in the first few years of being at Care for Veterans, he had regained greater autonomy in daily life.
He became independent in accessing the local community in his powered wheelchair, and was frequently seen on the promenade heading to Worthing town-centre or to a chosen restaurant on good-weather days.
With the achievement of his personal goals he remained motivated to succeed in other areas; he hosted a weekly ‘Classical Music Appreciation Group’ for his fellow residents, conducted a presentation of his past mountaineering pursuits, and he also ran a weekly curry night in partnership with a local Indian restaurant.
Sadly, about two years ago, Andy became very ill and was hospitalised for a significant period of time. On returning to us, Andy was still very unwell and all the progress he had made had lapsed. After a period of bed rest, it was time to start again, right from the beginning.
Now aged 59, Andy remains extremely motivated and happy at Care for Veterans. In particular, he loves the one to one cookery classes in the rehabilitation kitchen with our Occupational Therapists. His rehabilitation programme is mentally and physically exhausting, but he does not give up. Despite the challenges he is faced with every day, he remains positive and focused on having the best possible future.
He is a true inspiration to everyone here at Care for Veterans.
This article originally appeared on the Care for Veterans website. To read the original, click here.