We all know that life has a habit of throwing us curve balls when we least expect it and every day, hundreds of ordinary people across the UK find themselves facing problems they didn’t anticipate or plan for.
For Andy, a former employee of the Ministry of Justice, that day was 13 February 2015, when he woke in the early hours with unexplained back pain and was then rushed to hospital. It was months before he returned home, the day before his 44th birthday. His unexpected spinal cord injury caused a bleed down his spine, creating severe injuries which have changed his and his wife’s lives beyond recognition.
Today Andy has the use of his right hand but will never walk again. Financial support from the Charity, along with a disabled facilities grant from Andy’s Local Council, has enabled Andy and wife Sam to build an extension on their house. The new room includes a wet room and direct access for the many carers and nurses visiting each day. This means Andy can move out of their lounge where he was living full time and regain some dignity.
“The extension is just fantastic. The built-in wet room finally means I can have a shower, I went over a year without being able to wash properly. I also sleep in the same bedroom as my wife again. Things like this can make such a difference to quality of life. We honestly can’t thank the Charity enough.”
Having a place for privacy has been incredibly important and is the key to enabling some level of normality for the couple. And despite this devastating event, Andy and his wife have found the strength and courage to face their challenges head on.
They have recently renewed their wedding vows to not only celebrate 15 years of marriage, but to also thank close family and friends for being so supportive. They have even booked their first holiday together since Andy came out of hospital and plan to make it one to remember.
“The Charity understand your position and the whole process of getting help was remarkably easy. They don’t judge you, and you’re treated with respect. It’s real people who help real people."