From Melissa, my brilliant sister in law.

Hey my lovely Just read your post tonight. Oh, gosh that must be horrible to dream about your legs but wake up and it not be real. Dani, Sam and I were good friends with a chap called Geoff Holt when we were growing up. When Geoff was 18 he took a year out and being a sailing type, sailed for a year. He was in the Caribbean and one night he dived from his yacht and hit rocks….he broke his back very high up and is paraplegic but with very limited use of his arms as it was such a high break. In the subsequent years he has started a business helping wheelchair kids and adults go to sea and has a boat called ‘wet wheels’. He has an OBE from the queen for his efforts! When you first had your accident I emailed Geoff to try to get a view point as to how you might react. His email is below: Always makes me shudder to think someone else has had a spinal injury. If I could give you 2 lessons I’ve learned. This is really, really, early days – it can take weeks, months, even years to stabilise to a point you know what muscles come back and what feeling will come back. That will take time and only months in hospital in rehab will decide that. Right now, he just needs the love of you all – he won’t care less about the future, he will be focussing on what he has lost. It’s like a bereavement and he needs to know that he is still the same Russell that you all know. Which brings me onto number 2) He won’t want blubbing – do that in private. The thing that really got me through was Fiona, Sarah, Sean, Justin etc. not giving me any pity, just treating me the same. I feel a bit silly saying this – it is all so early. Where is he being treated? Is he back in the UK? It goes without saying that I am happy to help in any way I can but right now he won’t want to even see someone in a wheelchair – he’ll be in denial, and it will take a long time to come to terms. Give Dani a massive hug and say I’m thinking of you all. Geoff So Russ, your dream might be a little bit of a bereavement but it might also be a foresight into your recovery. I know that there is wonderful equipment out there to help you carry on as ‘normal’, from the paraplegic lady who walked the marathon this year with a specially created suit that had electrodes which made her walk to just simple equipment that can enable you to ‘stand’ at a party. You are such a tiny part through your new journey, there is so much out there that can be done with stem cells and science these days. As you know things could be a whole lot worse in the bereavement stakes. We can consul ourselves with the fact that you are the same chap (albeit a bit more articulate 🙂 ) that we love and respect and hugely admire. From day one of your accident I always had this vision of you being the bloody bloke that whilst I was sat on red at the traffic lights in my 4×4 wizzed past in a bionic bike at 30mph! I don’t think that is far off….legs or no legs. Russ we all love you for you which is your brain and spirit foremost and that is what you still have in abundance. xxxx

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