THE ‘huge’ progress made by Chris Walmsley since he was severely injured after being hit by a car in 2006 has led his mum Carol to significantly change her own life ambitions.
Having twice arranged her son’s funeral, expecting the worst, Carol is now much more positive about what the future holds.
‘I am going to dance with him one of these days – that is my ambition,’ she said.
Chris, aged 34, was left quadriplegic after the crash. In August 2011 he went to Germany to receive pioneering stem cell treatment using his own stem cells, and has shown a noticeable improvement since then.
The therapy he has been receiving has also paid off.
In November, he stood for the first time since the accident, and thanks to the arrival of his own standing frame last week, he has now been standing again.
Carol said: ‘We’ve recently bought the standing frame, we are going to build it up so that he is using it daily.
‘This is so important for kidney and liver function and being upright will help his chest and bone density and muscles.
‘It is an amazing piece of kit and we were all excited about its arrival.’
Chris is now waiting delivery of a communication aid called a DynaVox.
Carol said: ‘This is very similar to a laptop in looks and it is to help him communicate.
‘He will access it with a switch which we will have to teach him to use.
‘It can also control his environment (e.g. turn his TV on/off and access the internet etc). We will start off with it very simple at first and as he learns to use it we can build it up for him.’
In May last year, the family posted a video on YouTube which showed Chris touching his nose with his right hand.
Carol said: ‘He really has come a long way from those dark days – who would ever have thought he would be able to touch his nose?!
‘The thing is not only can he follow the instruction he also knows where and what his nose is.’
She said: ‘He also initiates this himself now which is massive as he only ever reacted before – but now he will sit and touch his nose with a big grin on his face – why?
‘Because he wants us to do something – usually pour him a JD and coke or take him out to the pub.
‘This is beyond our wildest dreams – especially when you consider back in 2006 we arranged his funeral twice.’
Chris has carers working with him 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
He stays at Abbotswood home and goes home to Port Erin two evenings a week and goes home on Friday evening and stays through to Sunday evening.
Carol said that having people with him daily – including his brother Rob who is one of his carers – had made a ‘huge difference as he has lots of stimulation which is what he needed’.