Laurafest this Monday

A long overdue post from me, Tom: sorry for the long delay. Some of my really good friends in London have decided to put on a fundraiser, Laura Street and Laura Silver have had a tradition of putting on a small festival in honour of themselves each year in the summer. This year they have kindly done so in order to raise money for the Pavilion trust, the festival will be held, unconventionally, in a pub. The pub in question is called ” the good ship” and is in Kilburn in London. Laurafest will be held this Monday, the third of September, and will be a night of live musical performances from brilliant acts such as the infamous Dr Joel,the windup merchants and Savage Messiah.

Laurafest is, as far as I’m aware, open to all. It will be a great night, good value for money and all for a good cause. I have tried my best to be in a position to attend but after battling with doctors and nurses, I have been told that due to still being on intravenous antibiotics and also due to my neck still being slightly fragile in the eyes of the consultants, it would not be safe for me to attend. I really am quite gutted about this, but I hope that all who attend have a great time. Dr Joel really is one of my favourite performers and also strangely has worked with my dad in the past (this is not how I know him).
For more information and details of tickets etc click here…
With regards to my progress, I’ve been working hard to deal with my loss of neck mobility,much of the same feelings as encountered previously.

Ultratour: Congratulations to Rob Holden

The news from Mont Blanc August 27th: “Rob Holden completed the Ultra run Tour early Sunday (26th) morning in the amazing time of 34 hours 17 minutes. His determination and spirit got him through this very tough course. He was running for almost $40,000 for Tom Nabarro and Back-up Trust and as predicted, he didn’t disappoint. Slightly battered and tired, he is resting in Chamonix this morning but will undoubtedly be able to recount the race from his perspective very shortly. We await this eagerly!” On Monday August 27th Rob recoded interviews for Radio Lancashire and on Tuesday August 28th Tom and Rob were interviewed together on Radio Oxford at 9.10am by Shabina Akhtar.


Tom is inspired by Rob’s strength, discipline and humanity, the great interview on WRG and the numerous messages of support from well-wishers. He is getting on top of the pain, the infection and other challenges and oriented to a goal of release from hospital before the end of the year. He is grateful to all for their amazing contributions to the UltraTour appeal (click here to access).

As you can see from the widget (above) the total number of contributors is awesome – more than 100. This is a superb foundation for the pavilion which will cost well over $200,000 so we still have some way to go!

Rob Holden’s UltraTour is described on the World Radio Geneva FM website. Rob’s interview with WRG is online under the Tom feature. Click here if you want to hear it (may take time to load).

We hear that some people have had difficulty working through Paypal (the on-line system for transferring funds from credit cards) and would prefer to contibute through Bank Transfers. Here are updated details for bank Transfer if Paypal direct not possible.
Account name: RJ Fryatt
Account: 00236354
IBAN: GB95LOYD30937900236354
UK sort code: 30-93-79
Address: Lloydstsb, 21-25 King Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 9HW, UK
Details to provide with payment:
If any payments arrive in the account, Bob will transfer them into the paypal account and send confirmation to the person donating (which will take a few days).
If you have any problems please communicate with Linda at

Ultratour: Message of Support

In a statement released 15th August Professor Stephen Hawking said “I support Rob Holden’s plan to take part in the Tour de Mont Blanc on August 24th-26th to aid Tom Nabarro’s recovery and contribute to the work of the Back-Up Trust”

With thanks to Rob Holden, whose efforts are moving towards the climax later this week, and to the great support team who are working tirelessly to back Rob up and secure support for the “Ultratour for Tom”

See Prof Hawking’s website.

Checking in

Hello all, now just about back to being able to spend time on the computer with limited neck movement from my bed.  Just been catching up with all your comments and with Rob Holden’s progress in his training.

I am beginning to gather an appreciation of the extent of Rob’s challenge, through his entertaining accounts of training, face plants while eating on descent (I am familiar with face plants from being an avid skateboarder) and the temptations of a kebab (although mine usually come after a few beers), the distance of the ultra-tour and the route through the Alps is absolutely huge and the thought of someone running this in less than 40 hours is mind-boggling.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rob again for his enduring efforts and goodwill.

I’m amazed at the generosity of people and the efficiency of Tom Ernst and his fundraising team, I am so grateful to everyone for helping raise money for the Pavilion and Backup trusts, it will make a great difference in the standard of living of paralysed people such as myself. 

Please keep fundraising efforts going, every little helps. Rob Holden will be commencing his mad run on the 24th of August and his progress can be tracked from his website (link accessible on the right of this webpage). 

Some very creative and generous friends of mine will kindly be organising a couple of fund-raising musical events in Kilburn in London during the next few months for the Pavilion trust.  At the beginning of September, a musical extravaganza called LAURAFEST will occur to celebrate the existence of two wonderful Lauras, with ticket revenue going towards the Pavilion trust, more postings and contact details to follow.

In terms of my own progress since the operation, which was 11 hours in duration and caused some concern, I have been extremely lucky in that I didn’t end up with a tracheostomy.  The reason for the length of the operation was the extent of infection in my neck and the degradation of the spinal column around the area of the lesion. The surgeons performed the existing titanium plate removal, further bone graft from the hips, spinal column correction and fixing using nylon string from behind, and then the fixation of an extended length of the spinal column using a longer titanium plate. 

I had very congested lungs which took a few days of heavy physiotherapy to clear (they are still being cleared continuously), and the acute neck pain eased up after around four days, two of which were spent numbed by morphine.  After seven days I was able to get up in the manual wheelchair and get a special collar fitted, which I’m told will become comfortable during the time I am required to wear it (up to three months), and have been moved downstairs back to St David’s ward in the same room as I previously occupied.  The past week on bed rest has been extremely boring, and has left me thinking of the disadvantages of my situation far too much.  Therefore now I will be making the most of my ability to use a computer and to rearrange my room into a more favourable environment for self-education and entertainment.

Prior to my operation I enjoyed a birthday celebration at my grandfather’s house with many friends from London, this was a great day out and it was great to see all who were there, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a while.  Thanks to all who came and organised and for the great cards and presents.

Thank you to all who have visited since the operation, I have been fed like a king which has enabled me to regain my appetite, which would have taken longer with just hospital food.  I would like to especially thank my mum and Ellen for their help and support day in and day out.

I have been enjoying conversations about how to endure feelings of restlessness physical and mental, and how to strike a working balance between a withdrawn and relaxing lifestyle and a modern urban lifestyle, plus the potential flexibility in the mode in which we use of our minds.  Thank you Peter and Maria.

Ellen is in Edinburgh at the Festival, and hopefully enjoying herself with friends.  I am  looking forward to seeing Ollie, Polly, the ferrets, dad and gill soon.

Love to all, T Continue reading “Checking in”

Tom’s operation – another kind of marathon

Tuesday 7th August was a long day for the neurosurgeons and for Tom, but he was awake and off the ventilator and back on St Andrew ward by 9.30 pm. Thanks to the expert team who did the re-pinning and re-grafting that was needed. Now the physio’s and nurses are back on his case in earnest, and when he can sit up (not for a while yet), Tom is to have a custom-made neck collar which may be slightly more stylish than the previous version…

Donate for Tom Nabarro and the Back-Up trust.

Siobhan Crowley [];
Robert Fryatt [];
Rob Holden [];
Tom Ernst [];
Glenn O’Neil []

Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 9:39 AM

Subject: Donate for Tom Nabarro and the Back-Up trust.

As you will know, David Nabarro’s son Tom had a snow-boarding accident earlier in the year and sustained a serious neck injury; leaving him paralysed from the neck down. He is currently in Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the UK . A friend and colleague of David and his family, Rob Holden, who works at WHO is taking part in the ‘Ultra-tour de Mont Blanc’ between 24-26 August to raise money for the Back-Up Trust and to support the building and equipping of “The Pavilion”, a customized work and social space for Tom Nabarro for the future (to be supported through the Pavilion Trust Fund).

More details about Tom, Rob and the race can be found on the following web-site: . This site also provides details of how you can donate funds: Donation Page. [Or you can donate using the Widget above – see 17 August posting : NB The email address of the Ultra Tour for Tom webmaster ( appears on the donation form as he set up the account].

So please can we ask you to find a few moments to look at the web-site and donate some funds! We have less than a month to go before the race, so we all need to make the effort now. Also please pass details of the links onto friends and colleagues of David, or indeed anyone who you think might be interested in donating to this cause.

Warmest regards

Siobhan, Bob, Rob, Tom, Glenn

Susie writes: Congratulations to Rob Holden, Tom Ernst and their team in Switzerland who have got the Chip-in donation site up and running – the BackUp Trust helps spinal patients to do things they wouldn’t otherwise achieve, such as outings and sports, and the Pavilion Trust is intended to enable Tom N to take on further challenges, once he is through his next operation on Tuesday 7th August. We’ll be following Rob’s marathon on the web.. good luck ! Thanks to all donors – do encourage your friends to sponsor Rob in this huge effort. Rob’s UltraTour donation site has a deadline of 31st August, after which the proceeds will be split 50% between the BackUp Trust and the Pavilion Trust. Here in Oxford, we have drafted the Pavilion Trust deed with lawyers, and we are in touch with architect Peter Ruthven Hall and the West Oxfordshire planning committee about the building projects at The Limes.