BEFORE YOU READ ON: There are TWO different donation pages, as I am raising for two different charities. Please donate to both if you can - it would really make a difference and would be much appreciated. Thanks.
My name is Pete. I am a plumber & builder in Coventry often working 6 or 7 days a week, living a full & active life. I'm married to a lovely wife, and have a loving son, daughter, and grandson.
In 2011 I walked into the hospital, where I had a spinal operation to remove two discs, which were cutting into my spinal cord. When I came round following the procedure, I couldn't move my right side. Later that day - 1st February 2011 - I was told that the discs had embedded into the spinal cord a lot deeper than what the scan had originally shown. I was told that I may never walk again, which became a fact. After spending over 5 months in hospital - while also surfing a blood clot in my right lung - I was left disabled and wheelchair dependent. My life changing worlds had begun, with rehabilitation and an electric wheelchair.
I began to cope and adapt to be as independent as I could. I also learned how to complete day-to-day tasks such as cleaning, mopping, vacuuming, and dusting, all of which would often lead to me falling from my chair and having to wait for help. I had a goal to do as much for myself as possible.
I am a member of the Coventry Ambassadors, which helped with the 2012 Olympics events at the Ricoh Arena. We helped with various events around Coventry.
On Easter Monday 2014, I suffered a stroke, which took the use of my left side; leaving me paralysed from the next down. Another chapter of my life had begun, as I spent over 6 months in the Central England Rehabilitation Unit, learning how to live as a quadriplegic. It was also important to me to retain as much independence as possible. I was taught to eat certain foods with the aid of a robotic arm known as a 'Neater Eater', and drink cold drinks from a hydrant tube. My next challenge was to be able to control an electric wheelchair with my chin. This I soon mastered, along with being able to write with my mouth (this story you are reading was initially written with my mouth!).
It is down to the dedication, hard work, professionalism, and kindness shown to me by all medical and NHS staff in University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW), and the Central England Brain Injury Charity (CEBIC) Leamington. I am eternally grateful.
After being discharged from hospital, I received community rehabilitation from Newfield House. This team became and still remains a vital part of my life. Their skill and compassion are second to none. Thanks go to all past and present staff. I also receive hydrotherapy at Castle Froma, from a team including a physiotherapist who is dedicated, professional, passionate and caring.
I now lead a full and active life with help from my family and friends. I love live music; attending different concerts & venues including Liverpool's Cavern Club, and eating out in various restaurants. I travel about in an adapted car and public transport, including buses, trains, and the tube. I feel I need to give back to society and those who are less fortunate, as I am near a normal life as possible.
The air ambulance is such a vital part of society, which requires necessary funding in order to be there for all of us when we need it. It is down to the dedication of all the people who are involved, in keeping the emergency service going. It has saved many lives and continues to do so, thanks to the speed it is able to provide. After being a patient in Leamington Rehabilitation Centre, it opened my eyes to the need for funding, which is needed to provide specialised equipment in order so that patients can be taught basic life skills. These can vary from communicating, talking, feeding, washing, walking, socialising, etc. In fact, everything that we all take for granted, from the time we open our eyes in the morning to the time we close them to sleep at night, these people have been taught from the beginning, who again can vary from the young to seniors, who all have the fight and need to become as near as normal a member of society as possible; to not be disregarded but to remain a worthwhile human being. None of us know what the future holds, but without these centres a lot of people would not be able to live life again.
I have decided to do something as extreme as possible, to gain as much money as I can for 2 amazing causes. It is a 1-mile long zipline in Snowdonia. I will need a team to help me from my chair and onto an open-back truck, and then into a sling, where I will begin my 1-mile zipline, at 100mph. Please dig deep, and help this quadriplegic raise money for others.
See you on Saturday 10th August at 3:10pm, at World Zip Line, Penrhyn Quarry LL57 4YG
Please have time to think that no-one knows when they might need these services. So I'm asking you to give some money to help someone live a good life, for one day it might be yours.