Mike & Anthea’s accident


It’s almost eleven months since the accident and I am aware that we have not posted anything regarding Anthea’s progress for some time.

The good news is that there is continued progress.  She has just returned from cooking for 130 young people at a summer camp. which she greatly enjoyed.  She is still having continued physio and though the rate of progress is obviously decreasing, she still continues to improve and is re-assured that the physios think there is more to come.

 Tomorrow we are off to meet the air ambulance team who assisted her transit to hospital on the day of the accident.  I think she feels it is important that she fills in the gaps of what she cannot recall.  We are then off for some holiday and she is talking about doing some cycling and some walking.

Yesterday we got in late to discover that, lesley Farrall, the Diocesan Secretary, who is also a good friend, learnt that her son Mark who is of student age was badly injured in an accident after being hit by a bus in Bristol town centre.  This was obviously a terrible shock for Lesley and her husband Andy and my trip to the ITU at the Bristol Royal Infirmary brought some poignant memories flooding back. 

The news of Mark today is encouraging, but there is still a way to go in discovering whether he has a significant brain injury. 

Please do continue to pray for us, but also remember Mark, Lesley and Andy in your prayers.  We are still overwhelmed by the support we received and can testify to the fact that it has made such a difference.  May it be so for the Farrall family at this testing time

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Just a quick post to say that Mike and Anthea went on holiday for a week at the weekend. It’s great that Anthea feels in a position to go abroad at this stage in her recovery.

Mike will be back blogging next week.

This afternoon Anthea and I went to see the Consultant responsible for the ongoing management of her neck injury.  Regular visitors to the blog will know that she had the ‘halo’ contraption removed in December and it was replaced with a stiff collar.  After close scrutiny of an X ray taken today she now has the collar off and for the first time for a very long time is supporting the weight of her neck on her own, and more importantly she looks and feels more like normal.  We have been given the all clear to take a short holiday in Spain in February, which is great!

There was a little anxiety about the increased intensity of pins and needles in her right (undamaged) hand and so the Consultant has asked that she have an MRI scan just to be sure that there is nothing untoward causing this.  She will also have some tests which will reveal the extent of any nerve damage caused by the velocity of the intital impact. 

All in all, however, today feels like a step forward.  There is even some talk of her being able to resume swimming in the near future.  I thought that those of you who are concerned would appreciate the latest news.  Thank you for your ongoing prayers and your concern.

The end of another week and there are one or two bits to share.

Because of the horrendous trauma that a high speed road accident puts you through, it was suggested that Anthea should see someone skilled at trauma counselling.  An appointment was fixed and she duly spent over an hour last Friday with a counsellor who has such skills.  I was invited in for the last ten minutes or so.  The conclusion was that she doesn’t need any counselling help as all her emotional dials are heading in the right direction.  We greeted this with a real sense of gratitude.

I am constantly amazed and have been all through my ministry at the sheer resilience of the human spirit and particularly when this is fanned into a flame through the strength of God and the love of other people.  I believe that all three have helped Anthea, who, in my somewhat limited experience is slightly unusual in that unlike most of the Intensive care patients I have met can clearly remember the accident.

Her hand continues to be treated and I can see that she is using it more and more.  There is still some concern about the lack of strength and movement in both her arms and it was suggested this past week that we should see a shoulder surgeon to see if we can find out what is or isn’t happening.  Her ‘halo’ was replaced before Christmas with a stiff collar and we are hopeful that in ten days or so this will come off and she will be able to receive further physio to strengthen her arms.

Anthea is wanting to do more and has been to church for the last two weeks – some folks say you have to be feeling well to do that! – and she has even been down to the local shops.  Progress indeed!

The rest of us are fine and I am now back at work.  The only exception is my youngest daughter, Lella who is still seeking to come to terms with all that has happened ans is at home at present having been instructed by the local GP to take some time out from university

As Anthea continues to improve and her progress now is very much in the hands of the physios, we have taken the decision to reshape the blog as an opportunity for me to offer some thoughts on a variety of subjects. The blog will give you, as in the past, the chance to respond and comment and try and explore some important (and some less than important) issues.

Thank you to all who have already logged on to the site (almost 100,000 hits) and have left messages or have simply gone away and offered us your thoughts and prayers. This has made a massive difference to us as we have battled our way through the past 13 weeks or so. Never underestimate the power of love and the strength that can be gleaned from faith in God.

We had a great Christmas as a family and look forward to the year ahead. Perhaps I might take this opportunity to hope and pray that 2007 will bring you joy, peace and blessing.

This morning, Anthea went to Frenchay to see whether the surgical halo that was fitted in the week after their accident could be removed.  They felt happy about taking it off and Anthea coped with the process admirably.  This is great news and Anthea is now wearing a stiff collar. 

It has been a long day as the appointment was followed by more long physio so Anthea is pretty tired and enjoying a cup of tea at home.  Her general progress continues and the removal of the halo is clearly another big step. Lella is now home from Brighton for Christmas.

Mike has done a couple of interviews and we believe BBC Points West will be broadcasting a piece tomorrow.

We haven’t posted for a while as there has been very little to report.  Anthea continues to settle at home, gain strength and do more things for herself.

Today she went to see a senior hand therapist at Frenchay who encouraged her that significant progress could be made with her left hand.  She will be having 2-3 hours of physio each day until Christmas and has been set hourly exercises. The hope is that these will create much improved use.

Mike continues to spend a lot of time helping Anthea but is preparing to get back to work for the beginning of January.  He will be preaching at the Cathedral on Christmas morning (and at Midnight Mass).  The family are looking forward to all being together in Bristol this Christmas.

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