James was referred to Ability Bow by physiotherapists at Mile End Hospital after breaking his neck, collar bone and ribs in a paragliding accident. Incredibly he is now back at work and he describes how important his referral was to his rehabilitation.
“On 15th October I was paragliding in the Lake District. I enjoy sports and rely on the incredible endorphin rush I get from pushing myself – I am a very driven individual who works and plays hard. Exercise and work are vital for me.
During my 3rd flight that day I suddenly fell 500metres to the ground. I broke my neck, collar bone and 10 ribs and lost consciousness. When I was found I was not breathing and had no pulse. An air ambulance took me to Newcastle hospital where I stayed for 6 weeks before moving to Whitechapel hospital for the next 10 days. I still have no memory of the accident nor of the 10 days or so before it.
I was referred to Ability Bow by the Disability Options Team and at the end of January I met my Instructor at Ability Bow. To that point I had rehabilitated to be able to walk 100 metres but it would be so exhausting doing so I had to sleep for the afternoon. I was fed up with being alone in my flat and the medical world was telling me to be realistic with my expectations and prepare for making big changes to my everyday life. I was feeling insecure about not being back at work and felt that my not working was not an option.
From my first visit I realised how special the staff and service are. My Instructor was friendly and knew her stuff, and the atmosphere in the gym just normalised everything for me. It gave me the confidence I needed to raise my expectations and work hard to recover. The assessment she did that day was very, very good not just for the exercise but the way it was being done was normal, matter of fact. The gym itself was friendly and relaxed and the staff had such a positive mind set and attitude. Being in such a secure and friendly environment makes a massive impact when you’re at that very early stage of recovery.
My Instructor understood how important exercise was to me and helped me take steps forward each time I came to the gym. Ability Bow had a great impact on me in those early days, not only in enabling me to do the exercise but also I greatly appreciated getting out of the house and feeling normal again.Being at the gym and making the progress that I now had the confidence to push myself for, gave me the confidence I needed to go back to work. I went through a phased return and now work full time. I ran 17 miles today and I’m back to enjoying the thrill of being able to push myself and getting the endorphin rush.
If you’re thinking of going to Ability Bow I would say get down there asap! I had no idea this sort of gym existed. Socially you will feel normal and you will get to achieve stuff (which is really important when you’re not achieving anything). It’s fun and they are nice people. I feel very privileged to have had access to Ability Bow.”
James Poole August 2011