Home & Beyond
It's something in excess of 15 years since I wrote Richard's Storey. I did it as a therapy for myself, the idea being that I would write his story to its conclusion, but I realised after some time that providing Richard lived, there would be no clear-cut conclusion. However things do change, Richard is now 40 years of age, Dawn is 66, and I am 70, and in the intervening years Richard's capabilities have increased, his cognition has improved, he is remarkably the same Richard. However his brain was very compromised by the insult that it received, and when you consider we were told initially that he would be dead in a matter of days, then some two weeks later that he may remain in a persistent vegetative state, and then, after him regaining some sort of consciousness we were told his executive functioning would be severely compromised, and it would be unlikely he would be able to make decisions for himself, or be able to talk again. Given all of this you should not be surprised to know that life for Richard is a struggle. The National Health Service has been wonderful, they kept up their treatment of Richard for a further five years after he left hospital, and when at that point he developed severe psychological problems he was treated in a specialised unit for a period of 10 months, all of this paid for by the state. Working out precisely what this has cost is not possible, but even at a rough count it is well in excess of £1 million, thank goodness for the National Health Service.
There had of course to come a cut-off point, a point at which the NHS felt they'd done all that they reasonably could on Richard's behalf, and I have no quibble with that whatsoever. So we have financed Richard's physiotherapy for the last 11 years and it is slowly paying dividends. Richard with a little help can walk, his balance is not good but he can operate his legs, the right one takes considerable effort on his part to move, but with the patient and progressive therapy meted out to him by his physiotherapist things are starting to come together.It was at Oliver's suggestion (Richard's physio’) that I have added a blog section to this story. Sometimes the blog will be written, sometimes an audio clip, and sometimes a video; it will all be down to how Richard feels at the time. I doubt it will be daily, but it should at least be weekly, and I hope it provides some insight into how life is for my son. The language at times maybe what is referred to as adult, I feel that in order for his blog to be authentic I must not edit it.