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Care and Rehabilitation

Simon’s determination to walk again after a motorbike crash

Simon talks about his rehabilitation journey after a motorbike crash that left him with complex orthopaedic injuries: 

“I was involved in a motorcycle crash when I was hit by a car coming out of a side road. My injuries were all orthopaedic, I had a break in my left leg which required the use of the Ilizarov frame which uses metal rings. I had three rings around my leg which were secured by bolts and I had rings going through the bones, and I also broke my right radius which needed a metal plate to connect that up.  It didn’t seem that serious lying on the road, certainly the paramedics thought I hadn’t broken anything because I could wriggle toes and fingers.  

Because the break on the tibia was quite close to the knee they said they had to use the leg frame  and one of the rings had to go through the femur. That meant that my leg wasn’t straight it was at an angle, and because of that physio was difficult. But they were also so stretched in hospital that you are lucky to get one maybe two 15 minute sessions a week.  

The leg frame had to stay on for 4 months – in the end it was on for just over 5 months. So when it came off my hamstring had shrunk because I hadn’t moved my leg for so long, I couldn’t. So it was basically a process of re-learning to walk.  

When I first came to QEF I was being hoisted for everything, so the change has been quite fundamental. I was determined to be able to walk out of here even if that was with a support device, and now I can walk with the stroller or crutches and I am going to be walking out of here today!

Simon walking out of the CRC

When they operated on my hand they asked me to sign a consent form but I couldn’t write, so I had to mark it with a cross that had to be witnessed. Now my signature is also almost back to where it was as well.  

I have been here for 4 months in the end. My initial 1 month NHS funding was extended to a second month and then I have paid privately to stay here for another 2 months. My only other option was a cottage hospital which I really didn’t want. I had retired from my job as a classroom trainer with the police, so I utilised some of the pension pay out to pay for an extension to my stay here to make sure I got the physio I needed for my future. And by this time I had a good working relationship with my physio here and I couldn’t change that.  

I am going to be sad to leave and say goodbye to people here, as some of the staff here are wonderful. You can’t knock this – I couldn’t have got better. The entertainment has been good, especially when there are activities at the weekend, although sometimes that can clash with visitors coming.  

I’m not heading home to my place in Redhill – the Occupational Therapist here identified that it was not exactly suitable for me to go back to as the stairs are a bit precipitous. All my relatives are in the North East of England – my daughter, niece and my mother so I am heading up there for some R&R initially and will probably ultimately aim to move up there.  

It’s been wonderful here. We all have our own room and that’s important. They just couldn’t do this at hospital – it is a wonderful facility and I just wish the health authorities would understand that a bit more. I’m content with having paid for my treatment here as I wouldn’t have been able to get up and walk out of here if I had been at the local cottage hospital.” 

A tall man with white hear standing in a corridor, behind a walking which he is using for support


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