Independence via Electronics

This is Tom, dictating this post using voice recognition software called Dragon and Navigating the mouse using an infrared pointing device called SmartNAV. I’m on my own at the moment as Ellen is attending her second year college ball. As I am now able to independently communicate via e-mail I’ll be trying to answer more as I’m aware that many e-mails have gone unanswered. Also I will try to write more posts although the progress with my health is not as exciting as it was, the steps are slower and sometimes more painful as they mostly involve physiotherapy. I am working on achieving a speedy process of rehab and have been targeting October for release although am aware that the accommodation may not be ready by this time. I am hoping to start hydrotherapy fairly soon which will be a great experience as I love swimming so much, it is also a great relief to be able to use the gym as it becomes a more sociable experience than physio in my room. I just hope I can keep this big side room for a little longer as I don’t know where I would keep all my junk around a normal ward bed.
Dad is coming to visit soon and I thought I’d take time to post some information that Rob Holden has written to explain why he is going to perform such a crazy feat for the Pavilion and Backup causes.
There will be a new website put up for the purpose of Rob Holden’s fundraising adventure, I will be adding a link as soon as it is up. This will be a method of keeping track of Rob’s progress in the mountains. I would like to thank Rob, his support team, Tom Ernst, Siobhan and Bob, Linda and all other members of the Switzerland fundraisers for all the effort that they have and will spend in their endeavours. I would also like to thank mum, dad, Grandad and all others who are helping to arrange accommodation and the potential of a Pavilion.

Now to hear from Rob:

‘when you are going through hell, keep going’ (Winston Churchill)

Rob Holden (Why?)

The news of Tom’s accident made me realize how anybody’s life can change so completely – and with so little warning. One minute you can be on the top of the world. Things are moving along nicely. And then you look away for a second or you make a decision that puts a series of events into motion, and everything changes.

I have met Tom twice. He was passionate about sport and taking on challenges and relished adventures. And in that sense, I believe we are similar – we enjoy pushing the boundaries and the sense of achievement that comes from enduring mental and physical test. I greatly value Toms appreciation of what the race entails. Though I cannot, nor will I pretend to be able to fathom the challenges that Tom now has before him. However, part of the attraction of this race for me will be to test myself physically and mentally – a process I imagine Tom goes through hourly and daily.

In closing, a word on teamwork – the value of which anyone who has ever undertaken any high risk sport, never underestimates. While I will run the mountains alone, I know that I have a team of people with me who have supported me along the way. They have dedicated their time, their care and their expertise – all of which have helped to build mental and physical stamina. I am sure if Tom could be, he would be alongside shouting at me to get a move on every step of the way. If together we can raise awareness and funding for the pavilion and the Back Up trust through this small endeavour and in so doing, make a difference in Tom’s and other people’s lives, then I believe it will be a race well-run.

9 thoughts on “Independence via Electronics”

  1. Thanks to Dragon and SmartNAV !!! This and other technologies will enable you to become more and more independent and to work on your professional future.

    Tom, so far the speed of your recovery has been truly amazing – I am not surprised
    that now the next steps will be harder, more frustrating and more time consuming.

    But you will get there! Please don’t get over-ambitious with regard to the timing of
    your release date or else you put yourself under too much pressure- this may not be
    good for your continued step-by-step progress …

    The Geneva Team will make sure that the joint Back-Up Trust and Pavilion
    fundraising website will be up and running soon.

    Always with you,


  2. Tom,

    Congratulations on your academic honors! What a fantastic achievement. Your
    plans for the future are very exciting indeed – we will be happy to participate in the fund
    raising efforts. I wish I could say that I would be useful in the construction realm, but
    sadly this is not the case! Great to hear all your tales of the rehab ward – keep up
    the great work and the smile on your face. Much love, Mary Lyn

  3. congrats on ur uni accomplishments first of all. must say seeing u manage to finish ur work with all the hecticness going on is well impressive. in some way ur determination to succeed and not to give up inspires me i feel to do well 🙂 thanx
    also, i hear ur goin to 070707! gd for u tom. i was wanting to join but unfotunately am havin some medical issues myself :S i wish u all the best and enjoy the, what looks to be the party of the year, to the max!!

  4. Hi Tom,

    Just a quicky to say hi 🙂 and to apologyze… I´m such a lazy cow! I can´t believe I haven´t visited you yet!!
    Amal, Emma and myself would like to pay you a visit this weekend, if its alright.

    If you wanna email me:


  5. Dear Tom
    Thursday 21st June I was just checking up on “grippe aviare” and “chikungunya” etc. for my work as an occupational health nurse in Versailles. This always makes me think of your father and so afterwards with Google I typed DN and read about your accident!
    (In 1975 I worked with David as a nurse in the emergency relief medical team sent out to Iraqui-Kurdistan by Save the Children Fund. Our mission lasted almost 4 months.)
    Tom. you are an exceptional person. It has given me enormous pleasure and joy to read about your progress and see the photos and at the same time to catch up on family events as I last saw David at the London School of Tropical Medecine in 1980 !
    You certainly have the two essentiel ingredients to get better day by day. You’re in love with a beautiful girl called Ellen and you already have a wonderful project to build a cottage adapted to your needs.
    “All you need is love – love – love”
    “money can’t buy you love” (but it can build you a cottage ! )
    “with a little help from your friends”
    I agree with Polly Pooler. Your comment about the nurse’s “dodgy morning stories”was very funny !
    I wonder if the new generation of nurses today still use the abbreviation “TLC” in the daily kardex report writing on patients by nurses in my (old)days (?)

    For the fund raising may I suggest a poster A4 style “WANTED” used for gangsters in the old cow-boy westerns:

    “WANTED ”
    URGENT – funds for Tom Nabarro 22 years old who has just been awarded a First class Honours degree in Electronics and Microelectronic Engineering from Brunel University,London to build an adapted cottage to enable him to lead as much an independent life as possible as a tetraplegic following a skiing accident on the 3rd of April 2007.
    Tom has outstanding intellectuel potentiel and within 3 months of his accident is already using voice recognition software called Dragon and Navigating the mouse using an infrared pointing device called SmartNAV and replying to his e-mails.

    The poster could include a photo of Tom as he is to-day – “Company Director” at his office desk using Dragon and SmartNAV and / or a photo taken before the accident such as for example No 514 (?)
    These posters could easily be distributed and would obviously have the official details as to who one can send the funds to.

    I am not a public person but I would dearly love to help in mobilising the British community in Versailles and Paris and why not the whole of France !

    Marie TLC + + + (= “Tender loving care” + + + )
    Please equip yourself with an old fashioned audio cassette player as I have a very specail surprise for you.

  6. Hi lovely tom and lovely ellen too
    . Its Sarah again. Me and Clive have been away for two weeks and haven’t been able to check on you sorry. We were so pleased to see how much amazing progress you’ve made Tom. The Pavillion fund sounds like such a great idea. And Congratulations on your first, you are very clever! Keep going Tom. Take Care. Love Sarah and Clive x x x

  7. Hello Tom,

    Congratulations for uni mate! Could you please send me an address where you can be reached?

    Cheers dude.


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