On the 21st May 2020, at 12pm, our beloved Ben bought a brand new mountain bike with the hope of continuing his love of fitness. By 3pm, that very same day, Ben had fallen from a height of 30ft and was being airlifted to our regional major trauma unit where he was placed into a medically induced coma. He hasn’t yet returned home.
As a result of his accident, Ben suffered a life-changing, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and has faced major obstacles throughout his recovery. This includes life-saving brain surgery, a tracheostomy and sepsis. Ben is a 24 year-old, young man who now needs intense help in re-learning the everyday basics that many of us are probably guilty of taking for granted. Despite the amazing progress Ben has already made, he is still dependent on 24-hour care which is currently being provided at our local neuro-rehabilitation facility.
Throughout his journey, Ben has proven to be an absolute fighter. However, his fight is still far from over. Due to the nature of Ben’s injury he requires a highly specialised level of rehabilitation in order to reach his optimum recovery. One of Ben’s biggest challenges is that he has not been given the opportunity to receive the intense, specialist neuro-rehabilitation he so desperately deserves. Unfortunately, this is because our local facility is not equipped with the resources to provide this. This has meant that every day has become a constant battle just to ensure Ben receives even a basic level of rehabilitative intervention. With limited resources to enhance Ben’s recovery where he currently is, we have been left with no choice but to consider funding private care and or bring Ben home to look after him ourselves. Both of these options are extremely costly.
To give a small insight into the expense of facilitating these options, private neuro-rehabilitation facilities cost upwards of thousands of pounds a week and equipping our home for Ben’s return is an equally as costly endeavour. In order to enable Ben’s continued recovery at home, we will need to purchase specialist equipment, employ rehabilitation personnel and make adaptations to our home. For example, a proportion of the money raised would go towards helping us to purchase a FES bike which costs upwards of £10,000 and a Tilt Table which costs at least £2,000.
As if the trauma of Ben’s accident was not enough, we have also been left devastated by the stringent visiting restrictions that have been imposed as a result of the current pandemic. It has meant that Ben’s immediate family have been unable to participate in this crucial phase of his recovery for many months now. This has been especially heart breaking as, from day one it has been stressed to us, by medical professionals, the positive impact that family involvement can have on a patient’s recovery.
Fundraising for Ben is not something which we had initially considered but as time passes, we are desperate for Ben to be given the very best chance to live his life freely once again.
We would like nothing more than to help Ben get back to the man he once was, the son we adore, the brother we miss and the partner we love. We would be eternally grateful for any contribution, no matter how big or small, made towards Ben’s recovery and hope that one day Ben will be able thank you all himself. For now, on his behalf, thank you for taking the time to read Ben’s road to recovery.
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- Sally Lloyd Thomas
- D MATTUSHEK