Imagine that you go into hospital for what you expect to be a relatively straightforward operation.
When you wake up you are unable to breathe without a ventilator and find yourself paralysed from the chest down.
This is exactly what happened recently to our good friend Jan Atack. Prior to her operation, 53-year-old Jan was fit and healthy, with many activity-based interests including a passion for golf which she played several times a week .
Her world has been turned completely upside down. Things she did before the operation – something as simple as brushing her teeth, pouring a glass of water, cuddling a friend or her favourite pet – are now almost impossible to do on her own. She needs the constant help of other people to do the most basic of daily tasks.
After weeks in intensive care, Jan was transferred to the Hospital Nacional de Paraplejicos in Toledo, Spain where she received excellent support for several months. She is now off a ventilator but remains paralysed from the chest down. She was finally discharged when the hospital felt that they could do little more for her. She is now back home, being cared for by her husband Keith.
Coming home brings urgent new demands
Jan is still almost completely incapacitated but remains cheerful, positive and determined. The fact is that if she is to rebuild her life back in her own home, she will need a great deal of support. It can be done and we are going to do it – with your help.
We are looking to fund a range of equipment and services, but the exact items will depend on Jan’s needs assessment when she gets home. These are just some of the the things we anticipate she will need: a computer which can be controlled without the use of her hands (now funded by the Jan Atack Appeal, see below); an electric wheelchair with its own controls, and an adapted vehicle for three people and her wheelchair. It is likely that she will need substantial home care and we are helping with some interim care, at least until an alternative source of funding can be found. Helping with home alterations is also a pressing necessity. The equipment and specialist services are expensive and represent a serious financial challenge, but remain vital to Jan’s future health and well-being.
We have been able to collect nearly €14,000 through the generosity of individual donors and also through holding charity events.
Update: Two recent events have raised a total of over €3000. First, a magnificent effort by Lauro Golf Bowls Club generated €2120 with a 24-hour Charity Bowls Marathon organised by Jane Richardson, most ably assisted by Paul Hughes.
This was followed by a Fashion Show – a sold out event held at Lauro Golf which raised €900. Nine models (four men and five women) paraded a wide range of clothes. The ever super-charged Elaine Paterson coordinated the whole event which entailed a huge amount of organisation.
Thanks go to Lauro Golf, the organisers, helpers and supporters, for generously giving of their time and donations at both events.
Jan and Keith will shortly be getting a home assessment from the local social services which will show what they are prepared to provide for Jan’s care. This will help us plan what we can fund for Jan’s other needs. In the meantime, we have already funded smaller, more urgent items, including a totally hands-free computer system so Jan can get back online; interim rental of a special bed and mattress, and some nursing home care to give husband Keith a bit of much needed time off. The total spent so far is €2200. For more information on what we have funded so far, please click here: Latest News.
Please Donate now and help someone who has suffered serious injuries through no fault of her own. You will be taken to our GoFundMe page. GoFundMe is one of the best known and safest fundraising organisations in the world. On that page you will find a link to bring you back here if you want to read more about Jan’s story.
In happier times, Jan leading the Ladies team which beat the Men in our Golf Society’s annual competition
The financial implications are considerable and there are many problems with seeking compensation. Even if successful, it is likely to be a long time before funds are available.
Jan shows great courage, and is determined to make a new life for herself. The chances of that would be greatly improved if we could reduce the anxiety about how she and Keith will cope in the future.
Jan as she is now — in a wheelchair. A rare opportunity to relax in the sunshine with her great friend Karen
Not convinced yet? Click here, to read more about Jan and Keith and their desperate predicament: About Jan & Keith
Concerned about how much money will actually get to them and the general management of the income? Click here to find out more: Financial Management
Like to know more about the hospital and the great work going on there? Click this link: The Hospital
Confused about terms like tetraplegia, quadriplegia and paraplegia? Click here to find out more about spinal cord injuries: Spinal Injuries Explained. (Note the link will open in a new tab or page depending on your browser).