Mr Hughes is 27 years old and three years ago he fell down a flight of stairs whilst under the influence of alcohol …. that day changed his life and the lives of his family and friends forever.
I can’t remember what happened. I woke up in hospital and I couldn’t move.
This was the realisation that Mr Hughes had suffered a terrible head injury which would impact on the rest of his life. Mr Hughes’ story is one of determination to get better, so he can continue with his life as he had planned it. He is an inspiration to other young men out there in a similar position, who have suffered a terrible head injury just when their lives are starting out.
“When I came to Oakleaf I didn’t talk much, I didn’t know how to start conversations. I was in a wheelchair pretty much all the time, but I was here to get better. I was determined to walk again, but the tendons in my legs were bent so I had to have an operation to fix them. It was very frustrating that things I had done without thinking about them, I couldn’t do anymore, like taking a shower or making a hot drink. I was completely dependent on the care staff to help me. I knew I had to get better so that I could do these things for myself again.”
Mr Hughes came to Oakleaf in April 2010, and he has from the very outset been a very determined young man. He has worked incredibly hard and has made remarkable progress. His motivation is inspiring and although he admits he has a long way to go, he made some fantastic achievements in the very short time he spent at Oakleaf. Mr Hughes is now walking with a frame and is able to get around with this independently. “The frame is my lifeline, without it I would be stuck in a chair!”
“My goal is to lose the frame so that I can walk independently again. I did physiotherapy every day at Oakleaf and I know that my hard work is paying off. My physiotherapist was very encouraging and told me all the time that I was able to achieve even more. I am cooking more and more and I am now completely independent in having a shower, at first I had a list to follow but now I remember it all. As part of my planned discharge, I went home at weekends and spent time with my family. I’m an uncle now which is brilliant and I love spending time in the hot tub with my mates!”
Mr Hughes has progressed so well that he has now left Oakleaf Community Houses and he is living in his own home with carers. He continues to make progress, gain greater independence and he has achieved his goal which was to live in his own home nearer his family. He interviewed the staff to be his carers and has been living in his own home with a tailored support package since August 2014.
We wish him every success for the future.