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Inspiring Crawley man crushed under dumper truck and left paraplegic fundraising for pioneering rehabilitation

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Twenty years ago Steve Collins had a horrific accident when he was crushed after a dumper truck tipped over on him.

Following initial rehabilitation, his condition, was described as incurable.

“There was nothing more the NHS could do for me,” says Steve.

“Since leaving hospital I have always managed to live independently in my own bungalow using my resourcefulness and ingenuity to live a full and active life, but my goal has always been to heal my body.”

For the last fifteen years Steve has been involved in pioneering work in the field of Advanced Bio-Mechanical Rehabilitation. Known as ABR Therapy, this is the brain child of a Russian man called Leonid Blyum.

“I have been working under his guidance and we are proving that spinal injury is a treatable condition.” Steve Explains.

But there are no miracle cures and it is a long slow process and in all this time Leonid Blyum has been evolving and refining the techniques as the therapy has developed.

So far Steve has made enormous improvements and is now well on his way to walking again, but there is still a long way to go.

“In order to overcome a spinal injury, it is necessary to rebuild the catastrophic collapse of the primary core structure of the body. Unfortunately the medical establishment focuses solely on nerve damage and fails to see the vitally important bio-mechanical aspects. When we address the bio-mechanics and rebuild the structure we find that the nerve pathways re-establish of their own accord, despite the terrible damage I did to my spine.”

“Before this therapy my body was terribly depleted and everything was a struggle, including sitting. I could sit on the bus, but had to hold on for dear life. Now I can sit comfortably with my hands in my lap as the bus lurches round the corners. In the past when I went to sleep I woke up in exactly the same position, full of aches and pains. Now I have the strength in my body to toss and turn in my sleep like anyone else. I used to be paralysed from the waist down, now I have strength in my pelvis and control of my legs at the hips and knees. I live comfortably and move around with ease, can crawl on all fours and weight bear through my legs with a good hand hold.”

“I have every intention of walking again and need another five years to finish rebuilding my body. It is important that I continue this work, not only for my own future, but for the future of all who follow in my footsteps. I make it my mission to show what is possible.

Now Steve is fundraising to continue the vital work in Advanced Bio-Mechanical Rehabilitation and to also help him walk again.

You can support Steve and his campaign by going to his GoFundMe page here.

For more information you can also see Steve’s website here www.spinalroots.net

Community

Local volunteers drive GPs to essential home visits in Crawley

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Image: Dr Phoebe Danes and volunteer Chris Ball.

Local volunteers have stepped up to help drive clinicians to home visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative was launched by local GP federation Alliance for Better Care, who have rented black cabs to provide essential transport for clinicians attending patients’ homes. 

The taxis, which have been adapted to make them easier to clean, are driven by volunteer drivers who have come forward via various community Facebook groups.

Thanks to the layout of the cab, drivers are completely separated from the clinician who is also afforded extra space in the cab to put on PPE and write up notes. 

Matt Cullis, practice manager at Leacroft Medical Practice said:

“Our surgery is still open to treat patients, however, home visits have become particularly important for those who are shielding and not wanting to leave their homes. This service saves us time and allows our doctors to travel to appointments in an environment that can be easily cleaned and has room to put on PPE.”

Alliance for Better Care is the GP federation for Crawley, Horsham, Mid-Sussex and East Surrey and so far the project has been rolled out at Leacroft Surgery in Crawley and throughout Burgess Hill, with plans to extend it to East Grinstead and Horley in the coming weeks.

Katherine Saunders, ABC chief executive said:

“We have been overwhelmed with the number of volunteers who have come forward and we’d like to thank them all for offering to support this service. We are, of course, committed to protecting both our volunteers and our clinicians. We insure drivers and carry out all necessary checks while also providing PPE. This is a valuable resource for our clinicians, and increases our capacity to reach more patients.”

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