Hello angels tonight at 5pm a video goes up on the story below.. head over to Jay’s Days on YouTube for that – read or listen; however you want to, just please hear this story and share much love J..
.. well this is a tricky one, where on earth do I begin..
many sportsmen and women get injuries but not quite like this. its in the title really, my precious papa, my daddy, my hero and now my coach. this man is a walking miracle, i still think he should write a book on his amazing life, his battle and his story, but for now it will have to be a cringey blog post, so lets begin..
basically my father was an athlete for Great Britain, competing all over, he was a British Masters Champion his main events were the 3,000 and the 5,000 steeplechase. a very very hard event! (as we have heard so many times!) ever since a young boy my dad loved sports, mainly into football and athletics. but he focused on his running as he grew older and realised “wow I’m pretty good at this.” he worked with many coaches and athletics clubs and had an amazing career, creating PB’s that still haven’t been broken, (over 30 years later) and gathering so many trophies and medals.
10 years ago on June 28th 2006 my fathers and our families worlds were turned upside down. my dad had been training for a triathlon and he was out cycling on the back roads close to where we live. as he was going at such speed with his head down, thinking about his day, thinking about his style, he streamline affect.. he then went into the back of a postal van.. (i know what your thinking a big, red postal van in the middle of the road, in the morning when no one else is about I’m sure he could have seen that well, seems not..) ouch!!
my father had broke his neck and back in several places, he was taken to pilgrim hospital in Boston, then to Nottingham and then to Sheffield’s specialist spinal unit. (the air ambulance, was not the best, most exciting helicopter ride for him.)
once in sheffield, weighted down with weights and a massive crane like thing on his head, i was aged 11 at the time and didn’t understand a lot. but i knew this was serious when they had drilled into his skull to add the crane and weights, i knew he wasn’t coming home that summer holiday.. i was just leaving primary school for the summer holidays and to start my knew secondary school in September but all of that stage in my life became a blur. i had to live at my grandparents and then a flat in sheffield for a few months.
my dad was laid on his back for 3 months, paralysed, and bed bound. our family had to pull together. we visited him every weekend and the every day once we had moved to sheffield, we watched tele with him, we would tell him what we had been up to, we would help him eat, i would play some of my flute even though i was so so shit. it was a very hard time for the family especially my mum she had become a carer for a while, mum was a rock for him, my little sister, and i she held everyone together, so strong.
as my dads neck, back and spine started to recover he would get the opportunity to sit up, and go into a wheelchair. these were good days pushing him around, showing him the hospital, evening taking him shopping in Meadowhall. mum and dad would have weekends together just the two of them in a little house of the side of the hospital to practice how it would be if he came home, these were very special moments, our family grew stronger and stronger.
he came out of hospital in the October, friends and family gathered at our house to welcome him home, my sister and i made a ‘welcome home daddy’ banner. the house was filled with laughter, cheers and lots of tears. my dads friends had converted our garage into a gym for my dad to use for rehabilitation and then to train again in, it was probably the best present ever.. my dad, my hero, learnt to walk again! the determination that got him to British Champion, got him walking out the spinal hospital. all the doctors and nurses clapping, some crying and cheering. one doctor said to me
“he is the first person to ever WALK out of here”
he is a walking miracle, a fit, strong, determined miracle.
im not saying he doesn’t have problems now, ( his main big problem is being stubborn and grumpy, i joke) he has some issues now which cannot be resolved, he was left with Brown-Séquard syndrome which is caused by damage to one half of the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis and loss of proprioception on the same side as the injury or lesion, and loss of pain and temperature sensation on the opposite side as the lesion, he has sensations all over, like pins and needles but all the time, he can’t move certain parts of his body, past certain points, they have become restrictions and he does struggle to run, he cannot compete (and it kills him everyday), but he doesn’t let that stop him from training, he is always walking, the odd run and swim, and yes he got on that bike again!!
it was a very hard time for us all most of all him and my mum, i admire them so much both of them for what they have been through and how they have coped, none of it was easy, far from it, but he never gave up, she never gave up.
my papa is now my coach, a tough one but he knows what he is doing! i listen to everything he has to says, i admire the way he pulled himself through his training, competing, injury, and recovery and now each and every day! completely admirable..
a true determined athlete from the very start.. moral of this truly incredible story is to.. NEVER GIVE UP!
never give up
much love J x