Message from Tom – 19th April

Now that the hallucinations associated with painkillers and sedatives (like morphine and midazolam) have gone I am starting to understand the delicate balances within the different systems that are essential to my life. [In case you are wondering these hallucinations were neither enjoyable nor recreational]

Thanks to everyone who has written something. Your words help me through every day.

Thank you to Ellen and family for being pillars of strength during this early stage of recovery.

I look forward to being able to write to everyone as soon as I am able and to welcoming you here when I am better.

There’s one thing I have learnt for certain in the last two weeks – never take for granted what you have .

April 18th Progress ….

Tom has moved to St Andrew’s Ward: fewer tubes, less intense nursing and opportunities to listen to sounds on the new IPOD and LOOK OUT OF A WINDOW! David joined Ellen in Tom’s new home this morning. Polly and Susie have come to see Tom after Polly’s scan (she goes in later today for her procedure at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford … we will tell you her news too).

April 17 Update

Tom had another good day at the National Spinal Injuries Centre in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury: he seems positive and in good spirits, reflecting on how good it is that his brain is working as it should, remembering what happens from hour to hour, and really buoyed up by all the messages of support he is getting. (Ellen is reading them to him). He is sleeping well (his wake up call each morning is the visit by the physiotherapists). He hopes that he might – perhaps – be moved from the Intensive Therapy Unit into the acute ward (St Andrew’s) tomorrow (but he knows that bed availability can change from hour to hour so is not getting his hopes up too much). He is looking forward to being able to speak – and to eat real food – soon.

April 16 Update

Good progress continues in the Intensive Therapy Unit. Tom was massaged yesterday and although he could not feel it he said that it felt as though the “fog had lifted”. Lots of conversations with the hospital staff, and with Ellen, Polly, and Susie – they have got the lip-reading down to a fine art. Using a complicated double mirror arrangement Tom was able to watch “Lost in Translation” with Ellen on the TV, and today Ellen read some of the comments that she had printed out from the Website – Tom was delighted and heartened to hear what had been written and said that he will contribute something as soon as he can. He remains positive and smiley despite being increasingly aware of the challenges he faces.

April 12 Update

April 12th 2007: Tom has continuous nursing care in the Stoke Mandeville Hospital Intensive Therapy Unit, with regular physiotherapy to help him clear his lungs (they were bruised in the accident) and support for breathing and circulation. When he is awake he listens carefully to the nursing staff and sometimes he lip-syncs (brother Ollie’s words) jokes to them. Ellen (girlfriend) and David (dad) were with Tom for much of the day and then Susie (mum) came for the evening. Sometimes Tom asks what all the different tubes and wires are for, and wonders where he is; other times he is able to focus on what is happening and where he will go next. The treatment is hard work: in between the workouts Tom rests while his body heals itself. He has been told that when this intensive care has done its work he will move to the acute care ward in the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) which is also part of Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Quick update

April 7th: On April 3rd 2007 Tom Nabarro, David’s eldest son aged 22, had a serious accident while snowboarding in Bulgaria. He received immediate medical care on the slopes, was transferred to the Military Medical Centre in Sofia, [(to see the whole thing click on the “Quick Update” heading] had emergency surgery for damage to his neck and has, since then, been in the intensive therapy unit at the hospital.

It is expected that he will be transferred by air ambulance to the Spinal Injuries Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the near future. David, together with Tom’s girlfriend Ellen, mother Susie, brother Oliver and Sister Polly, and Ellen’s mother Mandy are in Sofia and see him daily.

April 8th: Tom was transferred by air ambulance to Stoke Mandeville Hospital Aylesbury and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

April 10th: Tom strong and fighting to get better and receiving nursing and medical support. Minimal visitors at this time: Ellen and close family are with him.

April 11th: Tom holding his own, and when not sleeping he recognises us, shows his sense of humour, asks us questions (we are good at lip-reading), wondering a bit about what is happening. He is strong.

We’ll keep the timeline of events updated on the “progress” page.