Graduation photos

Graduation took place on the 18th of July. In attendance were Ellen Susie Ollie and Polly. Here are some photos, more to come.

We were lucky with the weather and Tom was presented with his first class honours degree in Electronics and Microelectronic Engineering, along with two awards- one for overall best student and the other for his placement achievement presented by Siemens.

Tom’s operation is pencilled in for the 6th august (his birthday). Better late than never.

Ollie’s in China, we expect him to be checking this every day!

From Tom and Polly

Tom’s plans : a cottage at Standlake – and the Pavilion Fund

Tom here

The usual reason for delayed discharge of patients from the National Spinal Injuries Centre is that accessible housing is not yet ready for them. So Stoke Mandeville is encouraging me to think ahead. They say that I might be able to leave the hospital anytime from January 2008.

So we need to get prepared. Rather than trying to convert our (excessively vertical) Oxford family house to make it accessible, I intend, when I leave here, to move to West Oxfordshire.

My grandfather, Michael Graham-Jones, lives in an old house in Standlake, with a large and level garden. The plan is to build a wheelchair-friendly extension out into his garden for me, as Michael already has planning permission for such a single storey structure on this site. We have decided on a wood-framed building (www.oakcraft.co.uk) for reasons of ecology, economy and speed of erection. The community-based occupational therapists are already in the picture, and will advise on details of what I will need.

We have now come up with a new idea. Because the extension will be a small living space, it has been suggested that we could build a studio – The Pavilion – in another part of the garden, where I could invite friends and colleagues to visit me. Michael also sees this as a possible venue for Exuberant Trust charity events, which will benefit other young people (see www.exuberant-trust.org.uk).

The crunch is that we will need to raise the funds for the Pavilion from scratch.

So we are setting up a Pavilion Trust Fund, to which any well-wishers are invited to contribute. Donations will go towards the costs of building this social and work space, and the provision of equipment and facilities for potential improvements to my mobility and future career aspirations.

We will post more details on the Fund soon. We are in a hurry to get both the extension and the Pavilion built by the time I am ready to leave hospital.. We would love to hear from you if you have ideas or expertise to offer, or think that you might be able to help in raising funds for the Pavilion.

Susie

It is just lovely to visit you in your new huge room which opens out onto the brick courtyard with tables and chairs .. Extra great to see you buzzing about the hospital independently instead of having to be wheeled around by us; visiting the staff on St Andrew’s ward to see if they are managing without you; doing 3-point turns in the lifts, and all. A whole new life, up and going after 7 weeks in bed. Michael was so impressed by your rehab that he got competitive and made the trip across from Standlake to Aylesbury in his new car today – he’ll be back soon, to talk more with you about Chris Isham’s work on topoi (recent New Scientist article). I shall come with red geraniums for your windowsill, and more forms to fill in, punctuated by pancakes and maple syrup (1) from taf and Fred (III).
Love you forever .. Susie
(I’m using Polly’s log-in, as I have encountered barbed wire every time so far).

PS Some time back, you showed your e-mail address for people to write to you & Ellen, outwith the website. Here it is again : whizz2000@hotmail.com