Neuro Partners Service User PAUL Belk (and his family) are celebrating another milestone in his “remarkable” recovery from a life-shattering brain injury.
The South Shields student was left paralysed and unable to talk when his drink was spiked during a backpacking trip to Thailand in August 2005.
He was in a coma for three months, and given just a two per cent chance of recovery. Now, he is living independently and has started work as a business administration apprentice at Northumbria NHS Healthcare Foundation Trust in North Tyneside.
His Mum Carol, said: “It is just part-time because we have got to think about fatigue – it is the first time they have done this, so he is a bit of a guinea pig! It is great that they are being flexible. His hours fit around his physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions.
“He couldn’t do it without his support workers at Neuro Partners, because they take him and bring him back.”
Paul was discharged from full-time residential care 18 months ago, and now lives in a specially-adapted bungalow in South Shields.
He still receives several hours of physiotherapy and occupational therapy each week, together with a large amount of support from Neuro Partners.
The family are desperate for both of these things to continue because Paul’s still making progress. It defies the medical viewpoint that you have got a two-year window and if you don’t do anything in the two years, you have had it. It is not true. It’s all down to Paul’s determination and the support he receives.
It used to take four people to help him move. Now it just takes one person checking with the walking frame.
Paul, a former music degree student, continues to use a wheelchair and has just taken delivery of a titanium model, which is lighter and easier to turn.
His next aim is to get on an access course and return to university.
Mrs Belk added: “It is incredible, considering at the beginning he was given a two per cent chance of recovering. We were told to let him go in a home and die. It is just nothing short of remarkable.”
The recent involvement of neurological care provider, Neuro Partners, in his rehabilitation has been a positive move, she added, as its emphasis is on meeting his ongoing needs.
She said: “It is not about maintaining Paul at the level he is at now, it is about keeping him moving and having goals.”
The community team at Neuro Partners are delighted with Paul’s progress and look forward to many months ahead continuing along his rehabilitation pathway. Paul is a huge asset to the Company, and it’s great to hear success stories like this.
Full article published on Friday 8 February 2013 in the Shields Gazette – http://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/paul-s-job-milestone-in-fightback-from-brain-injury-1-5395244