Hello and Welcome to this Blog about how José and I are learning to conquer Tetraplegia (paralysis of all four limbs). Following José'...

May 2015 - Public Communication


sorry you found out via a third party, we've been trying to disseminate information via family, climbing, running clubs etc but inevitable we missed people. 

José was on his off-road bike exercising our dog in the woods behind our house on Saturday 25th April.  He came off the bike landing on his head, fortunately wearing his helmet. Bradley, the dog, alerted walkers & kept him alive by licking his face (which apparently was disgusting). 
He was found struggling to breathe & unable to move. An ambulance took him to hospital where scans showed he'd fractured his skull, shattered the top vertebrae & had severe damage (compression & swelling) to the spinal cord down the length of his neck. 

1st - Following his accident on Saturday José had had an operation to stabilise his neck. The hospital reduced sedation levels yesterday. Due to the ventilator he's only able to communicate through nods and shakes and mouthing words (asked for Bradley then me cheeky chap). Still not out of the woods, nor near the edge, but another stable night with him hanging on in there.  >We've had some lovely messages of support but it would be great to have cards so I can read them to him. Thank you to everyone for their wishes, if there is power in prayer José is well protected. x 

4th - Out of sedation & trying to communicate. Still critical & has severe spinal damage but improving every day. It will be tough to come to terms with his lack of mobility but the same drive that got him running marathons & cycling stupid challenges will help him with all the challenges. Xx

7th - Thanks for your touching messages, really humbled.

9th - When possible José will dictate updates and messages but today he's a bit tired so you're stuck with me.
Every day José is making progress. Sedation was lifted last week and a tracheotomy performed. On Thursday we started breathing exercises without the aid of a ventilator, 4x 5 minutes on Thurs, 5x 7.5 minutes yesterday and up to 10 minutes today. There are still downs as well as these ups, but these are well managed by the nursing team. We're all really proud of the progress he's making and the fighter he is!
As for me: I'm learning to lip read as fast as I can and today, at José's request, undertook my first wet shave - without a single cut.

10th - I got distracted giving a manicure and didn't take down a post but I'm rather proud of my husband tonight as he rose to the 12.5 min challenge and beat his PB by achieving 15mins unassisted breathing!

11th - Spa day today. Had a shave and got my teeth brushed properly for the first time, Katie sorted my nails and read me the sport updates whilst I practiced solo breathing for a full 20 minutes.

12th - Today's highlights: Stitches out. Met with the Air Ambulance crew, Frank & Tim; great to be able to say "Thank you". Breathing & lung capacity continue to improve.

13th - He just keeps on pushing it. 30 minutes today, at least three times but he was aiming for a fourth when I went home. It's getting hard to find long enough interesting sports stories. Such a star

15th - Time off the ventilator equates to altitude training its hard going. 4x 45mins today.

18th - I can barely keep up with the progress - 5x 1 hour breathing sessions yesterday with only 1 hour rests in between.

19th - 6 hours, an exhausting day not just with breathing but looking at new ways to control a computer mouse. A few different options but hopefully something that we can make work in the very near future.

20th - Exciting and unexpected news! If all goes to plan I'm off to Stanmore tomorrow to start my rehab!

21st - All went well with the transfer today, 40mins from Whitechapel to Stanmore with the help of blues & twos. In specialist expert hands now, a restful weekend before the hard work begins.

26th - I had expected that seeing an old friend would be the highlight of today but then my husband spoke to me on the phone! Keep fighting José

28th - José  is now at the intensive care unit at Stanmore RNOH and is able to speak he would welcome visitors. Visitors are limited to two at a time, with priority to family. Visiting hours are 09:00 to 21:00 (except 19:30-20:00). I can't manage an effective booking service so if you get there and someone else is already visiting then the best coffee is available up at the swimming pool.

29th - How amazing is technology? José  sent an email to me yesterday using only his eyes!

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