It is with a very heavy heart that I pass on this email from Caroline Judson (via Ian Williams)
Al Dixon has just come over (he is editing Holby) and said that Pat Paroussi has rung him to say that John has collapsed and died on a tennis court. They tried to revive him but were unsuccessful.
All a bit of a shock really I thought he played regularly.
I will pass on further information as I receive it.
Thanks to Dave Buckley who pointed out the missing links(!), I have now restored the 50% of the website that ‘went missing’ somewhen earlier in the year. I am still trying to find out exactly how half the files, which have been on the server since 2009, ‘vanished’, but, possibly, maintenance was the cause.
Many thanks to all who point up missing bits or errors – I couldn’t manage without you!
I’ve just received this from Sarah, Nial’s wife:-
Hi – I’ve been meaning to write an update for Nial for ages – sorry I’ve been a bit rubbish at that but in my defence I have never in my life been so busy! So Nial is doing really well – he’s improved in all ways since he got out of hospital. I won’t say it’s not been very tough, but I’ve got great faith in the wee man – as we all know he has the motivation and necessary obsessive streak to play the very long game that we have to play. The nice weather’s helped a bit too! He’s got a fairly gruelling routine – not quite as many therapy sessions as Penny thought, but something most days and masses of practice with me in between. Loads of really dull repetitive exercises to try to teach the right brain to make contact with his right side, and to stretch out all the damage that can take place in the muscles after a stroke. I’ve never before appreciated the skill of a physio, but it really is an amazing thing. He also has to submit himself to a hour a day of mild electrocution to his arm and hand – again to try to get the muscles and brain to speak to each other, and the physio is going to try out this kind of mechanical glove on him, which artificially gives you some movement so again you can do an exercise over and over and try to make contact with the right brain that way. Speech therapy is the same – tons of repetition every day. You may now have all dropped off – this is the limit of my conversation these days! Nial’s working really hard at keeping himself positive – I hope he will be able to keep that going for as long as it will take, but we do still have a laugh. We are both so grateful to everyone who has rallied round for us, and to everyone who has donated to the therapy fund – I just can’t believe how generous and caring you all are. He will get better because of you all – simple as that…..xxx
Just a brief note to remind everyone that the next Oldboys Lunch will be on Thursday, September 19th, at our new venue The Black Horse on Chorleywood Common. Full details at <Future Events>.
Nial Brown update
Many of you will be aware that Nial had a severe stroke at the end of February this year.
Well, Nial is now out of hospital and recuperating at home with Sarah and the boys. He’s doing well but he’s going to need regular sessions of Physiotherapy to help with walking and to improve the use of his right arm and hand which were badly affected by the stroke. He’ll also need regular therapy to help get his speech back.
The NHS are able to provide a weekly session each of speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy for 12 weeks. This is as much as their resources will allow and will be very helpful, but they say this isn’t as intensive as they would ideally like to offer. Sarah and Nial have taken advice that ideally they should be looking to arrange 3 specialist physio sessions a week plus exercises and practice outside sessions, and daily speech therapy backed up with daily practice and computer software. So Sarah has booked an additional 2 physio sessions and 3 speech therapy sessions with private therapists to bolster up the service offered by the NHS, and to continue after the NHS input ends. This is common practice, the NHS staff and private therapists are all used to working together.
To give an idea of timescale, Nial’s consultant has said his potential to recover function in his arm and leg could be largely realised over the next 3 years; his potential to improve his speech will be realised over approximately 10 years. The private therapists are very aware of the expense and the need to ration Sarah and Nial’s funds over time, and they will look at varying their input as needed. The physio is Richard Sealy at The Rehabilitation Practice, and the Speech therapist is Joanna Armstrong, now a private speech and language therapist who has worked at Kingston hospital for the last seven years in the stroke unit.
Many friends have expressed an interest in making a financial contribution to aid Nial’s recovery, and, whilst this is something that Sarah and Nial have not asked for, they have said that any contributions would be used to help pay for the extra sessions mentioned above, and would be very much appreciated. The hourly rates for this kind of therapy are around £120 for an hour of specialist neuro physiotherapy, and £75 per hour of speech therapy.
All donations would be treated in the strictest of confidence. It’s totally understood that these are hard times financially and nobody should feel any pressure to contribute. But whether it were a one off gift, or maybe a smaller amount paid monthly by standing order, anything would help enormously and make a difference to Nial’s recovery.
It’s equally important to spread these details far and wide, so if you know anyone who knows or has worked with Nial who might want to help, please pass this on.
If you would wish to help financially in any way, email me, Chris Booth, and I will send you details of the account that has been specially set up for the purpose. (This way will keep the account details safe from the idiots who regularly try to spam these pages!)
We’ve been advised to make it clear exactly how any money gifted would be spent. In the first instance money would be specifically used to buy sessions of physio and speech therapy for Nial. In the event of any excess money being raised for any reason, this would be donated to either a local Neurological charity called INS (http://www.ins.org.uk/) or the Stroke Association.
Friends of Nial Brown