Thursday, December 1, 2022
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Partially paralysed Grays man walks daughter down aisle

A Grays man left partially paralysed by a stroke has astounded friends and family by walking his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day.

Steven Moss needed the help of carers four times a day after suffering a stroke following a kidney transplant last year.

After being in hospital for six months, doctors said they did not know if the 56 year old would walk again, yet just six months after joining Impulse Leisure’s stroke exercise group at Blackshots Leisure Centre, he was able to escort his daughter Aimee down the aisle at St John’s Church.

"Everyone in the church was choked up seeing him walking with Aimee. No one believed he’d be able to do it," said Steven’s wife Deborah.

Specialist instructor, Wendy Barnard, who leads the exercise group, helped Steven out of the car and to the church door.

"When Steven joined the group he was unable to get out of his wheelchair at all, so we focused on wheelchair transfers getting in and out of the chair and as well as balance work," she said.

"Steven learned to take steps first before progressing to a small step, and we also developed his upper body strength, worked on his core and got him cycling to get some movement back into his hips."

Knowing how much he wanted to walk his daughter down the aisle, Wendy would give Steven extra coaching after the group session.

"It has been really hard work for Steven," she continued.

"Sometimes when it got difficult and he wanted to give up, I’d remind him that he was doing this for his daughter, which gave him the encouragement to push on. It’s an amazing achievement."

The Impulse Leisure exercise group has proved a lifeline, according to Steven’s wife Deborah.

"It’s been such a great help for both of us," she said.

"When Steve left hospital he was really depressed.

"He couldn’t do anything for himself, but now he has built up enough strength to get out of the wheelchair and he can walk around the house for short periods with a stick.

"He’s got much more confidence.

"It’s really helped to meet other stroke sufferers and their partners who have been through the same experience. We used to have a busy lifestyle: Steve worked and we’d go away for weekends and on holidays.

"To go from that kind of life to spending every day cooped up at home is very difficult. Only people who have been through it really understand what it is like."

Steven attends the class twice a week, which takes place in Blackshot’s kinesis suite, a specialist exercise studio that uses pulley systems to provide a workout without impacting joints.

Class sizes are limited to 10 people to ensure participants get the attention they need.

Steven is determined to keep up with his exercise programme and build on his achievements.

"We don’t know how much more he’ll progress, but given that we were initially told he’d never be able to get himself out of bed, who knows what the future holds?" said Deborah.

For more information about Impulse Leisure’s Exercise on Referral Programme speak to your GP or Health Professional.

Photograph courtesy of CJH Photography and Design.

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