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Health & Wellbeing

Crawley mans story and book is the inspiration we all need

From losing everything to changing his life for the better this is one story that will change your perspective on life.

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Three years ago Ben Hulmes life collapsed.

Having worked hard to build a life for him and his family in Spain it all fell apart after his partner walked out on him.

Having worked hard for three years on building up a business, creating a loving home he found it was all gone, including his two children.

As Ben puts it he hit ‘Rock Bottom, I was BROKEN’.

Ben before he turned his life around.

But what happened next is a prime example of how even at the most desperate of times you should never give up. You should never let the demons we all have in the back of our mind trying to put us down take hold.

Instead of just allowing his world to continue to collapse, to turn to drink or worse drugs, he made a conscious decision to change it all for the sake of his daughters. He moved back to the UK with his children joining him as a full time single dad and now resides in Crawley Down.

“I focused on positives not negatives. I focused on my mental health. I changed my life, my mindset and my body.” says Ben.

And change he did.

Ben working out.

In-fact Ben managed to do something so many people fail to achieve. He managed to focus on what mattered to him and used fitness as the outlet for his energy.

It took time though but the change was significant. So much so in-fact that Ben managed to lose 5.7 stone in two years.

The transformation is clear.

But this transformation is all the more incredible when you learn that Ben was almost left paralysed after a horrific car accident 10 years ago.

In Oct, 2008 he was traveling as a passenger in a car that lost control and hit a tree. As a result he broke and dislocated his neck. The doctor said he should have died or at least been left paralysed but following a 6 hour operation and having metal pins inserted in his neck fusing the C3 and C4 vertebrae he survived. What followed was 10 years of living off anti-anxiety and antidepressants.

The incredible change, before and after and the metal pins in his neck.

But Bens story is much more than just losing some weight because mentally he changed as a person for the better. The anger he once had over what had happened disappeared and suddenly life was about positives not negatives.

This culminated in winning the Inspiration Category at the Crawley Communities awards this year.

Then came the realisation that what he had been through could benefit others.

“I wanted to inspire and help other people.” says Ben.

So just over a year ago Ben set about doing just that. In May 2018 he launched Boot Camp at Tulleys with just five people participating. But the belief he had stayed fast and just one year to the day to that first class he was getting over 120 people every session.

Suddenly everything was changing around him. Mentally he was happy, his business was growing fast and life was all positives.

Now Ben has taken another step in helping others by writing a book. But he is clear that this is not just another ‘get fit’ book.

“I wanted to write something that is not just about how to eat and how to exercise but to also focus on the one area that very few people ever talk about, the mind.” he says.

Ben’s book, ‘The Game Changer‘ launched last Sunday 12th May at a book launch in Olivers Coffee & Wine in Copthorne with even the British Heart Foundation attending.

The book has been split into three ‘phases’ as Ben puts it. The first explains his story so readers can understand him. The second is the largest section which is all about getting into the right mindset whilst the final phase is Bens own take on nutrition, talking about what we are designed to eat.

What Ben has done is remarkable and is a true testament to what is possible when you put your mind to it. In-fact with mental health issues appearing every day in the news around the world finally people are starting to realise that the issue is not one that anyone should be ashamed of. It’s actually one we should all be talking about, helping each other with and ultimately acting upon.

Ben’s story is one for everyone, whether you want to lose weight or not because it does more than inform, it actually inspires and gives hope to thousands of people who are living in their own anxieties. This isn’t just a book, this is a lesson in living and what could be more important than that?

Health & Wellbeing

Local ambulance service urges people to take care as demand rises due to temperatures

With hotter temperatures set to make an appearance this week, South East Coast Ambulance Service, (SECAmb), is urging people to be sensible and take appropriate action to stay safe in the sun.

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Warmer weather is of course welcomed by many, but it often brings with it a likely increase in certain calls for the ambulance service.

Calls relating to dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn typically increase, and higher temperatures can also seriously affect people with long-term health conditions such heart conditions or high blood pressure. Older people and the very young are also at higher risk of being affected. SECAmb is urging these groups and anyone who looks after them to be equally cautious during hot weather.

SECAmb’s Executive Director of Operations, Joe Garcia said:

“I’m sure many people are pleased to see the arrival of some warmer weather and we of course want people to enjoy the sun. However, we also need people to be sensible and use their common sense. This means covering up and using sun screen as well as drinking plenty of water.

“Everyone can benefit from this simple advice but there are some groups whose health can be particularly affected by the hotter weather including the very young, older people and anyone with certain long-term health conditions. If people know of anyone who could be especially vulnerable, then we’d ask them to check they’re ok.

“We’d also urge people to remember that we have a finite amount of resources to respond to patients. We are asking the public for their support in remembering that 999 should only be dialed in the event of a serious emergency. Health advice is also available by dialing NHS 111 or by speaking to a pharmacist.

“Finally, I’d like to thank all our staff and volunteers who are working extremely hard to provide our patients with the care they need, whatever the weather.”

SECAmb tips for staying safe and cool in the sun

·         Stay in the shade or indoors. The sun is at its most dangerous between 11am and 3pm. Find shade under umbrellas, trees or canopies. It is worth remembering that the temperature is often a couple of degrees cooler if you are by water

·         Use sunscreen and cover up. If you can’t avoid being out in the sun apply a high factor sunscreen and wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses

·         Increase your fluid intake. The normal recommended daily intake of fluid is 2.5 litres or 8 glasses per day. In extreme heat experts recommend you drink more and include a range of different fluids

·         Keep your home cool. Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation

·         Look after the elderly. Older people are more prone to the effects of heat. If you have older relatives or neighbours, you can help simply by checking on them and reminding them to drink plenty and often. Also help them to keep their house as cool as possible, using a fan if necessary

·         Protect children. Keep a close eye on young children, who need plenty of fluids. A good way to check if they are drinking enough is that they are passing urine regularly and that it is not too dark. You should check nappies regularly. Babies and the very young must be kept out of the sun

·         Act safely around water and follow lifeguard advice. Avoid excessive physical exertion. If you are taking physical exercise you need to drink half a litre of fluid at least half an hour beforehand and continue to replenish your fluids during and after exercising

·         Be sensible with alcohol. Hot weather speeds up the effects of alcohol so extra care should be taken when drinking. Alcohol will lead to dehydration so make sure that you alternate alcoholic drinks with water or fruit juice

·         Know the perils of outdoor eating. Warm summer weather is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria so it is especially important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold until you are ready to eat them. When barbecuing always make sure you cook meat until it is piping hot, none of it is pink and all juices run clear

·         Keep cool at work. The office is often the coolest place to be in a heat wave. Ask your boss for air-conditioning or fans and open windows where possible. Keep windows shaded with blinds and if possible move your working position out of direct sunlight. Have plenty of breaks during the day to get cold drinks and cool down

Remember, heat stroke can kill. It can develop very suddenly and rapidly lead to unconsciousness. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke call 999 immediately.

While waiting for the ambulance you should listen carefully to the call handler and follow the instructions given to you. The following can also help someone suffering from heat stroke:

·         If possible, move the person somewhere cooler

·         Increase ventilation by opening windows or using a fan

·         Cool the patient down as quickly as possible by loosening their clothes, sprinkling them with cold water or wrapping them in a damp sheet

·         If they are conscious, give them water or fruit juice to drink

·         Do not give them aspirin or paracetamol

If you need medical advice or treatment you can also talk to a pharmacist, call NHS 111, visit your GP surgery or Minor Injury Unit.

When to call 999:

If you think a patient is suffering from one of the following you must dial 999 for an ambulance:

·         heart attack (e.g. chest pain for more than 15 minutes)

·         sudden unexplained shortness of breath

·         heavy bleeding

·         unconsciousness (even if the patient has regained consciousness)

·         traumatic back/spinal/neck pain

You should also call for an ambulance if: 

·         you think the patient’s illness or injury is life-threatening

·         you think the illness or injury may become worse, or even life-threatening on the way to the hospital

·         the patient needs the skills or equipment of the ambulance service and its personnel

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