Ford was born in
To say too much more would be robbing his story…
head injuries,” said one of the ambulance officers as he and his partner
lifted the stretcher into the ambulance.
better get him to
kid. Can’t be much more than twelve. Won’t have much of a life,” said the
other ambulance officer. “The head injuries are massive. Must’ve landed on
his head before falling onto his right side. The way those limbs are contorted,
they’ll probably never be used again.”
Where am I? What has happened? There’s no movement in
my arms or legs. I’m scared. Total darkness surrounds me ... The body I control is in a horizontal position, but my sensors tell me
nothing else. I will have to work this one out for myself. How do I do that?
I’ve always relied on my sensors. But if I have the power to control my
body, finding out what’s going on shouldn’t be hard.
This confusion I’m sure can be overcome. But I’m
using all my brainpower and I‘m not able to work out what’s going on.
unconscious state lasted nineteen weeks and two days, and during that time,
about a month after my accident, my mother died. She was suffering from asthma
and apparently the shock of my accident triggered that into a fatal happening.
When most people had given up all hope of me coming out of my coma, amazingly
enough my body which had been so lifeless started making small but encouraging
movements. It was a very, very slow process, but being slow and steady, the
gradual improvement was consistent.
I looked at my body after coming out of the coma I couldn’t understand what
had happened. Firstly I was scared, beyond words, then totally confused. But as
the confusion set in I realised I could, at least, still think logically.
involved in my life at that time were amazed with my coming to. But my true
mental state would remain a mystery to anyone else for a while longer, as I
couldn’t vocalise my thoughts. About
a month after coming out of the coma, on my thirteenth birthday, my father said,
“Trust Glenn, he wouldn’t miss out on anything. In
doctors told my family that physically I would never do anything again.
father would also have realised that, after so long in an unconscious state,
doing anything mentally again would probably be beyond me.
after I came out of the coma, my father told me about my mother’s death for
which I blamed myself for quite a while. My father used to get really annoyed
with me about that.
my birthday because of the injuries to my throat I was not allowed to eat
anything, which would have meant no cake. Except for the ice-cream cake the
hospital staff made me, which was delicious, as the ice-cream slid down my
throat so easily.
the family came that day. It was a day of real celebration. My sister was eleven
on that day, she had pinched my birthday but, it was good to be able to
celebrate with her.
I was informed about what had happened during my accident I realised that those
past five months, in coma, had been a blessing. My body would have needed rest,
after such an accident, and even though the rest would have been laboured, it
was still rest.
was told, ‘You swerved your bike and were thrown over the top of a car,
landing on your head, and falling on to your right side.’
was confused as I looked at my disabled body, not knowing what would become of
me. I was scared, even terrified, but these emotions did not have much time to
sink in as the pain that engulfed my body, even though that pain was supposedly
under control, was still devastating.
few days after my birthday I was transferred to a bigger city hospital. The
surgery I required was not done at the suburban hospital which I had been taken
to straight after the accident.
though a tracheotomy tube was not needed while I was in coma, for breathing
purposes, during my first lot of surgery at the city hospital a tube had to be
inserted. It was placed in my neck to help hold my food tube open. This had
collapsed, in an area just below my mouth, probably during the accident but
maybe while I had been unconscious, through not being used.
surgeon cut open my chest and upper stomach to make sure there were no more
collapsed areas in the oesophagus. It was a big cut as the surgeon inserted
a time when I was having a bath, soon after the surgery, a nurse counted them
operation should not have affected my breathing patterns too much, but
unfortunately it did, as I had major difficulties in that area after that. I
started having major coughing fits causing loss of breath and choking. I was
being fed intravenously at that time, but coughing and choking became more of a
problem at a later date, especially after food or liquid had passed down my
the days in hospital went by, there was always encouragement offered, to me, by
the hospital staff. It was difficult but I knew I couldn’t afford to let
things get me down too much. After hearing those destructive words by the doctor
my brain, which had not been affected by my time in coma, still allowed me to
resolve; Circumstances will not get in my
way of achieving what I want. Those doctors don’t know what they’re talking
about. Nobody’s going to tell me what to do. There was so much pain and
discomfort in my physical being at that time, and I knew my mind would have to
cope with this too. I knew that was not going to be a one-off thing. Of that I
was sure. But I also knew achievement was possible for anyone who put their mind
to it. I knew I would be facing an uphill battle. Could I win, or was I starting
from too far behind? There was only one way to find out.
were many operations to stretch the food tube which kept collapsing a week or
so, after each bout of surgery. The thing I hated about surgery was that I had
to go without food for a few hours before an anaesthetic, and I loved my food.
the surgeon realised there was no need to put me under anaesthetic, as he could
lay me across my hospital bed with my head hanging over one side, and pass a
thick roll of tubing down my throat, stretching the oesophagus, while I was
awake. That was a little uncomfortable but at least I didn’t have to go
without food, even though hospital food was not great.
me, hospital was a time of real boredom, as you could only read so many books. I
had no interest in the things the Occupational Therapist brought me to do as
these things soon bored me – thinking myself superior. The mind challenge I
needed was just not there. But when my body was strong enough to handle a little
physiotherapy that interested me as I could see a definite goal to work toward.
I probably set those goals higher than I could ever reach but at least they kept
me on track to achieve what I could.
thing that interested me while I was in my hospital bed was that religious
ministers would come around and share parts of the Bible with me. One of these
ministers and I got on really well. Father Monk and I would pray together and
then joke and laugh.
my accident I had attended church. These ministers in the hospital, talked about
healing, and even though they prayed with me, nothing seemed to happen. But when
my disappointment was noticed, they all said the same thing.
will see you through. His grace is sufficient.” In reality, I wondered what
those words meant. But I could not complain for God had already performed a
miracle in my life, for to survive the accident I had was miraculous indeed.
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