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NATHAN’S ABI STORY | Defying all the odds

Nathan is a person we support at one of our Neurological Rehabilitation Centres.

Nathan came to live at Ashbrook Neuro Rehabilitation, part of National Care Group, in January 2023 following a motorcycle accident which happened in May 2022.

Nathan, 25 years old, was travelling home from work when the accident happened.

It resulted in him suffering a fracture to the left side of his body and a brain injury which led to an eight-month hospital stay.

The long hospital stay with very limited mobility and no freedom to do all the things he loves greatly impacted Nathan’s mental health.

Achieving his goals

When Nathan came to live at Ashbrook Neuro Rehabilitation based in Rochdale, the support team immediately devised a personalised care plan for Nathan, designed to support him to achieve more independence and get back to doing the things he loves.

Nathan commented:

“In May 2022 I was on my way home from work when I was knocked off my motorbike. I was rushed to hospital where I was in a coma for 3 months, I was not predicted to live and they told my parents that if I did live, I would be in a vegetated state.”

Nathan continues; “On the day the hospital decided I was well enough for surgery they called my Mum who was at the top of a hill walking, she ran back down the hill and came straight to the hospital.

I then spent a long time at Salford Royal Hospital and Trafford General Hospital.

It was an incredibly difficult time as my mobility was completely gone.

I would only be able to shower once a week if that.”

Moving to Ashbrook January 2023

When Nathan moved into Ashbrook Neuro Rehabilitation his mood was very low and he was struggling with motivation. With the determination and compassion of the team, combined with Nathan’s great sense of humour, it didn’t take long at all for him to settle in, and he now even has nicknames for the whole team.

Nathan takes his first steps at Ashbrook Rehabilitation

With the collaboration of a person-centred care plan, a team of professionals including Occupational Therapists, Rehab Coaches, Speech and Language Therapists, Music Therapists, Physiotherapists, his Support Workers and of course last but by far from least, the continued support from his loving family, Nathan has defied all odds.

He can now walk with a specially designed gutter frame, something Nathan and his family were told would be highly unlikely to ever happen.

Nathan has gained independence through his personal determination and the continued support of his team. He is now back to being able to cook for himself in the therapy kitchen and on our arrival, he had just cooked a full English breakfast!

Nathan's Progress

Nathan says,

“Coming to live at Ashbrook has transformed my life.

I am incredibly proud of my progress since moving in and it’s all thanks to the team here.

It’s like having my own private apartment, I now shower every day with support, and I’ve got the independence to cook my own meals.

I am even having music therapy and learning to play the guitar again.”

Person-centred care

Gemma Clarke from partners of National Care Group, All-in-one OT, works closely with Nathan and the team at Ashbrook to create a plan that will enable Nathan to achieve his goals.

Gemma says, “There is a constant staff base at Ashbrook which helps hugely.

We work collaboratively to support Nathan and his incredible progression comes from us all working together on his care plan.

Nathan is heavily involved when we are putting plans together - we might think we know what he needs but ultimately, it’s Nathan who knows best and that’s what makes it so person-centred.”

Music Therapy

Music is a huge part of Nathan’s life and he’s a big fan of the Foo Fighters.

Before the accident, Nathan was in a band, and he played the guitar.

The team at Ashbrook have tapped into Nathan’s passion for music, they have arranged for a Music Therapist to visit, and have also started working on strength building to enable him to play his again - using a specially designed guitar.

As part of his music therapy, Nathan now has a personalised music playlist for each of his activities.

He has a playlist for cooking in the kitchen, a playlist in the exercise cabin and motivational quotes by the Foo Fighters on his wall.

Another one of Nathan’s hobbies is cars, he is particularly a big fan of vintage VW Beatles.

The Team at Ashbrook have used this passion to create a ‘progress road’ on his wall.

They have added a picture of Nathan in a VW Beetle and included all his progress so far so he can clearly see his journey and how far he has come.

Denise Clarke, Nathan’s Rehab Coach said. “Sometimes Nathan goes back to feeling low and demotivated.

He’s a very creative person so visuals work well in helping him stay focused.

Now we have created the visual road on his wall it really helps.

Nathan and I have a special bond and when he does feel low, it doesn’t take long until he is back to his determined self after we have a little chat.

He is a wonderful person, very caring with a great sense of humour."

Remarkable progress

With a collaborative, person-centred care plan, and the dedication from Nathan and his support team, Nathan’s progress has been nothing but incredible.

In a short space of time, he can now walk with a specialist gutter frame and is feeling more and more positive every day.

Plans for the future

Before the accident, Nathan was working as a mechanical engineer.

He was on his way home from a job at Bentley when the accident occurred.

Nathan says “My ultimate goal is to get back to work and get back to driving.

I will never ride a bike again; I passed my car driving test just before the accident and I am aiming to be able to drive one day.

With the support from the whole team at Ashbrook I really think this is possible.”

Joanne Registered Manager at Ashbrook commented “Nathan is a true inspiration, when he walks past other people who live at Ashbrook they cheer and tell him how well he is doing.

At Ashbrook everyone is excited to see the progress Nathan is making daily, every day he achieves something new.

The humbling part is that Nathan doesn’t see the progress himself, to help Nathan see we have made a visual of his journey on the wall at Ashbrook which was completed by Nathan and Gaynor (occupational therapist) every achievement is documented here so he can see clear progress every day.

It is a pleasure to work with Nathan and support him to reach his own personal goals from making his breakfast to now joining the local leisure centre which is to help achieve another personal goal of swimming.”

About Ashbrook Neuro Rehabilitation

Ashbrook Resource Centre provides slow-stream residential rehabilitation, providing personal care, rehabilitation and complex disability management for adults following a brain injury or with a neurological condition.

For more information visit: Ashbrook Rehabilitation

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