Service user blog: meet Anthony

In April 2017, I was transferred to Greenside Court from a local general hospital, for physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

I was involved in a car crash and was hospitalised for 7 months. The accident damaged my spine; I couldn’t walk and the difficulties were caused by swelling on my spine.

You don't realise what you've got until it's gone. The swelling on my spine needed to go down before I would see a significant change in my mobility. It's taken around 12 months for the swelling to go down - the fact I couldn't walk really made me feel down within myself. 

Before the accident, I was a school caretaker and had always been an active man. I think the only reason I have come out the other side of this experience, is because of my inner strength - and the support of my family. 

I once remember being told to focus on what you have got, not what you haven't. I could move my arms, so this is what I focused my energy on. The biggest thing for me was when I regained movement in my legs. This wasn't something I thought was ever going to happen - so after 12 months and they began to move, I knew I was going to be alright. 

Greenside Court provides care to many people with Huntington's disease, so I was sure it was going to be the right place for me. The staff are fantastic, brilliant even. They go above and beyond to help - I think they were more enthusiastic about my recovery than I was. 

They are used to seeing people deteriorate as their condition progresses, so I think seeing results from my rehabilitation and recovery gave them some morale. Seeing somebody being able to go back home - it changes how you think. 

My life at Greenside Court is so busy - I spend my time getting everything in place so I can go home. I have a wife and two sons - one of which lives in Oxford. As soon I began regaining movement, I was able to visit him and used a transfering device to get me into the car. 

I have been in touch with the Spinal Injuries Association, because I enjoy visiting other people who have been in my position and helping them. I want to be an advocate and visit people, offering my help and support. 

Even when I go home, I will keep coming back to Greenside Court and keep in touch with everyone. While I have been at Greenside, I have been able to go to Norfolk on holiday; it is great for everyone when these opportunities become available. 

Everyone is now ready for me to go home; I just need a final assessment before being given the greenlight. 

My goal now is to become an advocate for people with spinal injuries, sharing my own experience to help others with theirs.