Helping Rob cope with Tetraplegia

On the move again

Cheers to the pilot and future medic

Cheers to the pilot and future medic

Rob has managed to make steady progress and build up time sat in his chair.It was much better to be able to be sat up to celebrate with his loyal school friends the fact that Matt had qualified as an airline pilot and Rob T had just secured a place at medical school. The next test was to go out in the van again – Rob had been having more muscle spasms having been stuck in bed for so long and he was not sure what would happen with the inevitable movement whilst travelling in the caravelle. It was decided to make it a double test – drive to The Cheltenham Chase Hotel and then stay the night there following the family gathering and dinner for Rob’s Uncle Andrew’s 50th birthday party.

Pre dinner drinks with Andrew and cousins Alistair and Cameron

Pre dinner drinks with Andrew and cousins Alistair and Cameron

It virtually went without a hitch, great fun, managed to just fit into the lifts, remembered the wooden blocks to raise the hotel bed so that the hoist could fit under it but just when it was time to leave to go to bed Rob’s powerchair had no power! Lots of turnng it on and off and checking wire connections but all to no avail – there was no power. The only solution was to put the chair into manual mode and push it along. The plan then was to charge the battery overnight and retry again in the morning. Unfortunately the result was the same- full battery but no power so Dad drove back home to get the instruction book. A quick read soon pointed us in the right direction- the fuse switch hidden underneath the chair had somehow been knocked to the off position. Thankfully no real harm done – just a wonder as to what we would have done had we been in London for the stay!

Gill recounts the highlights of her brother Andrew's 50 years

Gill recounts the highlights of her brother Andrew’s 50 years


Building the sit up time up has been a slow process but there is just enough time to be safe to be able to get into Bristol for the start of the summer term and get ready for those dreaded end of second year exams. Rob has to carefully plan his time up to allow for the travel, fit in as many lectures or seminars as possible and still get back in time to get off his pressure scar. An 8am start for a 10am lecture means leaving Bristol by 1pm so as to be back in bed by 3pm. Whilst a major step forward still very frustrating for someone who just wants to get on with life.
The mobility allowed again has meant that a postponed trip to the law firm DLA Piper in London can now take place. Rather than being one long day trip as was initially planned it now has to be a three day expedition so as to ensure Rob is not sat up for too long – one day to travel up and then into a hotel bed, the next day at DLA Piper and then another night in a hotel before travelling back on the third day. A major carer logistical operation and extra hotel expenses but at least Rob will get there.

The new FES bike in action

The new FES bike in action

Rob has also taken possession of his new FES supine bike. This is one of only two in the country and it has the benefit that it allows Rob to do his FES workout whilst on his bed. It had become impractical to use the upright bike as unless Rob was wearing shorts the stimulation pads for his legs could not be put on. He would have to go back to bed to change, get up again for the work out and then back onto the bed to change again. Shorts are not practical most of the year and there just was not time for a busy man especially in term time.