The challenge of Finals
It is some 5 months since updating the blog and that in part is due to the constant worry that Rob has had with regard to his pressure mark. It has been a real struggle for Rob to know how long he can sit up without causing further damage and his need for complete bed rest. Just when things seem to be going well there can be an unexplained set back despite nothing different being done. As if the worries of finals was not enough there is the constant worry of “am I OK or should I go back to bed or…? This all stems back to the sore which started 18ths ago and left Rob with a scar. Rob has had the opinion of a plastic surgeon who has said that surgery could be done to move healthy skin with its underlying padding to the area but it is hoped to save that potential surgical solution as a last resort if conservative measures don’t work to enable Rob to get on with his busy life. Consultations with the wheelchair service cushion experts are ongoing to try and find a resolution in cushion type or set up to help cope with this problem.
Despite this background Rob has been busy primarily in completing the necessary essays for his finals. It would be a stressful time for any student but having to do half of them lying on your back with computer screens suspended over you does not make it any easier. Virtually all waking hours of the day are spent working if not on care issues.
Rob did manage to have a day out in February as a guest of Matt Hampson to watch Leicester Tigers play Bristol at Welford Rd. Poor result for Bristol supporters but a great day out and time to talk with someone who has supported Rob through his Foundation.
Rob did schedule in a days break when he took time out to support his school friend Gwilym when he received the Sword of Honour at his passing out parade from Sandhurst. It was a very special day and Rob enjoyed being part of it even if he had to bolt home before the parties started.
Rob had a weeks work experience at TLT solicitors over the Easter break; all was set firstly at the TLT who were very helpful to ensure that all that could be done was to make accessibility as easy as possible so that Rob could be fully involved and secondly a hotel booking at the Holiday Inn in Bristol to reduce travel time. Rob got into the hotel on the Sunday night, went to bed early with the hope that any pressure mark had gone by the morning. Unfortunately it was not to be, a small mark was still present in the morning so it would have been madness to risk being up on it all day for the next 5 days. TLT were very understanding and the vacation scheme has been rescheduled but the weeks booking in the Holiday Inn was wasted. Hopefully by the time Rob’s next vacation schemes are on the pressure scar will be more tolerant of being sat on!
In April Rob received the Primrose Award from CiaO -Challenge is an Opportunity. The Primrose Awards scheme seeks to promote a ‘can do’ attitude and a culture of ‘giving something back’.Geoffrey Barber the CiaO Founding Chairman and Trustee Andy Hogge met with Rob Camm at the offices of Special Effect in Charlbury near Oxford and Geoffrey presented the Award to both Rob Camm and Dr Mick Donegan of Special Effect.
At the presentation Rob said “I am really appreciative of the recognition that CiaO has given me in meeting the challenges I have had to face up to since my accident. The Award will be of significant benefit to me as I progress my studies and career in the Law.”
Dr Mick Donegan said “Rob has been an excellent ambassador to Special Effect; he is a great example to both disabled and able bodied people in terms of dealing with the significant challenges he has had to face in his life . In addition his generous spirit is really appreciated having donated 50% of his Primrose Award to Special Effect to help other disabled people.” ( http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/dr-mick-donegan-biography)
Andy Hogge of CiaO said “this Award to Rob totally meets the aims of CiaO to help and support people to overcome phenomenal challenges in their lives as well as helping others to overcome their challenges through Rob’s support of Special Effect.”
As finals loom there was the need to go through the practicalities of how graduation day would run in the Wills building in Bristol. How was Rob going to get onto the stage? It was well worth the rehersal just to make sure that the chair would fit on the stair lifts. It was quite scary edging towards the edge of the lift platform so good to have checked it out.
An exciting next stage in Rob’s independence is the purchase of a flat in Bristol so that he can gradually build a life away from his parents!! It needed adaptations to be done but is ideally situated for the University of Law where Rob has a place to do his GDL conversion course next year. It will mean that Rob will be able to chose between either his flat or the family home depending on his wishes and commitments whilst keeping the same care team.