November marks the seventh anniversary of an accident which left Chris Walmsley seriously disabled.
Since being left quadriplegic after being hit by a car on Richmond Hill and the family fearing that he had no chance of survival, Chris has reached a number of milestones.
Following occupational therapy, physiotherapy and even pioneering stem cell treatment, the family have celebrated as he has slowly shown signs of recovery.
In May 2012, a video was posted on YouTube of Chris touching his nose, and then in November, he stood for the first time since the accident, using a standing frame.
His mum Carol explained the latest milestone was that Chris, aged 35, was living full-time at home in Maine Road, Port Erin.
He previously stayed at Abbotswood Home, in Ballasalla.
Carol said: ‘The big news - to us – is that Chris is home , as in, he now lives at home with us. It’s a bit squashed with all his equipment but we manage.’
She said his standing frame was a ‘huge success’ and he now uses it three times a week.
‘His physio and occupational therapist are delighted with the progress they are seeing.
‘In fact, his physio is now looking into us buying him a walking frame!’
She said Chris was still getting to grips with a Dynavox communication aid which looks like a laptop and can be used to control his environment.
She said: ‘He finds it very difficult to press and release any sort of button, it’s actually the release that is causing him problems, but you know us – we will keep on persevering until we find a system that works.’
His speech and language therapist is also pleased with the progress Chris is making and has set up a daily pattern of exercises.
She hopes on her next visit in September she will be able to incorporate some chewing exercises too.
Carol said: ‘Not saying he will eat steak and chips any time soon, but every little step forward is really another huge gain we never expected to see.’
The family are also busy planning lots of holidays – they have bought a camper van which is undergoing conversion so Chris will have his own bedroom at the back and a wet room.
In the long term, they have settled with the insurers so they can start planning on building a new home for Chris.
‘It will make life much easier for everyone,’ Carol said.