Spinal Cord Injury
Following a motorbike accident resulting in a spinal cord injury in February 2010 and a month in hospital, I contacted heads up! to see if they could help with my rehabilitation. They could, and having specialist physiotherapy close to home helped to sway my doctors into agreeing to my early discharge with a back brace and two crutches.
After my initial assessment with heads up! I attended the clinic 3 times a week and explained my goals from the outset. I wanted to lose the crutches, learn to walk and drive so that I could return to work and ultimately I wanted to run again. We set to work and within days the crutches had been replaced with a walking pole. My walking improved and strength in my legs started to slowly return after a few weeks. heads up! completely understood the details of my injury and worked on specifics which I could then develop at home. They offered constant help and advice, explaining the limitations I must work within.
After a couple of months, the strength returned and I began to feel like driving again and after a bit of a struggle with the DVLA to get my license back (which heads up! assisted with by writing assessments and reports etc) I could return to work once the brace had been removed. My sessions reduced to once a week and heads up! were happy to fit in with my new working hours. My goal now was running again and they did not hold back, encouraging me and pushing me to try more all the time. The streets around their clinic became my new training ground my therapist’s even jogging with me!
By September 2009 I was back to jogging on a track, albeit slowly! In November I returned to hospital for surgery to remove metalwork from my back and so my running was put on hold, although physiotherapy continued once a week and in February 2010 I was ready to try again. After a couple of months and with the all clear from my surgeon, heads up! set about getting me back to road running, beginning slowly with back supports etc. By May I was up to running 2 or 3 miles and with a new job on the horizon, we spoke about when the sessions should end. heads up! were always honest about my progress and recovery and there was no pressure to attend more than I need to.
In July 2010 I attended my last session and since then I’ve gone on to run up to 12 miles in training. In late October 2011 I ran my first competitive race since my injury a half marathon in a time of 1 hour 44 minutes. I believe it’s all due to the help and support, encouragement and professionalism of the heads up! team and I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone.