Aiming to Aid Recovery
My story started on April 3rd 2007, when I suffered a severe cerebral haemorrhage stroke whilst driving.
Luckily I had managed to pull up outside a friend’s house, and was put into an ambulance within 30 minutes. My friend was told by the ambulance man, that things not look good, and that I may not make it to hospital. In hospital my partner was told to gather the family, as I was not expected to last more than 24 hours.
I cannot recall the first two days, but I received my first trip to physio after about five days, where they tried to get me to stand. It was hell. After two weeks I was transferred to a specialist rehab unit in Shoreham, where progress was slowly made.
Initially I had lost the use of all of the left hand side of my body, and my speech was very bad. The physio’s at Shoreham were fantastic, after six weeks I was discharged. I had vowed to “walk off “the ward and “walk “I did. Aided by a leg support and tripod frame.
I received minimal physio at home, which unfortunately I found to be more negative than positive. I was eventually allowed to join a local gym, where I say my slow recovery was helped. By now I could walk aided with only a stick, but the arm and hand were of no use.
About 4 years ago, I was introduced through a neighbour to a guy who was tetraplegic, but was involved in normal sports and activities. My reaction was, if he can do it, so can I! I contacted sport ability and was put on their contact list.
My first outing with them was kayaking, I arrived there, and my first thoughts were, “what am I doing here! I can’t do this! “
How wrong was I!
The same thoughts came when I tied different activities, including sailing, quad biking, archery, water skiing, gliding, micro lighting and clay shooting.
Clay shooting was something I had no done for 30 years, “what I am doing here!” was again my thought. Again how wrong was I!
After an enjoyable day, the road was set for the future, I had further lessons locally to help me, I also joined a local club.
With their help, and the help of some shooting friends, my skills improved. I then joined the disabled shooters group and also the disabled clay target shooting group. These groups have introduced me to travelling to shoots, all over the country and shooting with other disabled people.
Shooting has become a big part of my life, and has helped me greatly with my mental and physical improvement.
Over the last 18 months I have won 6 trophies, against able bodied competitors, and enter my first national competition next week. In two weeks I travel to Italy to be part of a disabled squad, shooting in an international, with the I.P.C. as clay shooting is hopefully to be included in the future Paralympics.
I have gained my safety officer certification, and aim to become the southern coordinator for the disabled clay target shooting GB group.
In the Autumn I shall be doing the first stage of my instructor’s course, as my ambition now is to become an instructor for disabled shooting, to hopefully encourage others to get the enjoyment out of sport that I do.
The Paralympics??! Let’s wait and see!!