It's been a long road David, but you made it!
Good luck with your recovery.
From all the membership of the FVA
David Rogerson - Accident
Our secretary, David Rogerson, fell
down the stairs at his
home during the early hours on Monday 20th June 2011
and sustained serious head injuries.
has been hospitalised and is still rather poorly at this time.
received 26th November 2011
(Accompanying letter - scroll to bottom of the page)
26th June 2011
David's wife phoned this
evening and David is holding his own. He is still in an induced
coma and is being brought out for a very short time. David has had
a scan and thankfully there are no internal injuries.
There are injuries to his back but mainly the injuries to his neck
are causing concern. The 'top man' visited David and apparently
it is a blessing that he has two brain fractures as these allow
the brain to swell. Due to his back injury his stomach is very swollen
and this is pushing up into his lungs causing him not to be able
to breath on his own. When this eventually corrects itself the hospital
will put him in a brace.
The Consultant has told Christine that it will be a long job.
I am in possession of David's
wife's temporary address which for obvious reasons I will not include
in this update. If you would like to send a card or similar item
of support, then please email me and I will forward the address
on to you.
5th July 2011
Christine has asked me to give you an update on David. He is much
more aware now. He has tubes in his mouth providing oxygen so still
cannot speak - the hospital was going to carry out a tracheotomy
yesterday but for reasons only known to them they cancelled the
surgery. David is still very uncomfortable, obviously feeling the
bruises and bumps.
Christine has asked if you can send a letter or informative card
to David about life outside the hospital because she has been advised
to read to him as much as possible. She feels he will enjoy that.
The address of the hospital is:
Wessex Neuro Centre, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road,
Southampton SO16 6YD.
Absolutely no visitors permitted.
Please pass this information round to other members who do not have
computers and I will update you again when we have more news.
13th July 2011
On Friday last week David had a tracheotomy fitted plus later in
the day a halo from the waist up to his head which is held by four
bolts. During the weekend they fitted a speaking valve and he has
had to learn to speak and his speech has slowly improved.
Monday was Christine's birthday and David managed to tell her and
the ward at the top of his (funny) voice that he loved her. You
can only imagine Christine's delight - last week seeing David's
face for the first time since the 20th June and then he speaking
David can only speak for ten minutes in the morning and fifteen
minutes in the afternoon for the time being so Christine and he
are catching up very slowly!
David can now feel and move his legs and they have confirmed that
he has no broken spinal column which is a big relief.
Christine is worried about his hands though as he has no movement
in his fingers at the moment despite under controlled conditions
he lifted his left hand. He is not out of the woods yet!
I did ask if David had received any correspondence at the hospital
and she said "No" so I am hoping that some of us will
drop him a line or two for her to read to him. If you need the address
again please do not hesitate to contact me.
Not all is going well for Christine at the moment however, her elderly
mother badly gashed her leg and has to go into hospital for a skin
graft - it all comes at once!!!!!!
27th July 2011
Christine has sent this email - she has been very strong though
moments as you will see when you read her email.
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 9:54 AM
Thank you all for your good wishes.
David is doing incredibly well at the moment. He is now well enough
moved to a Neuro Ward - Special Care. He moved Sunday night and
eating and drinking quite freely - although at the moment he can't
big meal as his stomach has shrunk but nevertheless he is tolerating
well. He is in special care because obviously he still can't do
for himself, scratch his nose even! He is not happy with the reduced
visiting hours however - now 3 - 8 pm. His operation has been set
Tuesday, 2nd August. We have mixed feelings obviously. Part of us
done so he can be free of the halo jacket and have his neck fixed
other part of us dreading the thought that he could be permanently
We are both thinking positively and putting our faith in the good
the surgeon. In my quiet moments I am feeling very, very sick and
this sinking feeling in my stomach at all times. However, I am always
positive for David.
That's it for now. Hope all is well with you.
Love, Christine xx
6th August 2011
David had his surgery yesterday - 7 hours - he can move his arms
and legs but at the moment has no feeling in his hands. They took
away the four broken vertebrae and replaced them with bone and metal.
He naturally has a collar on for six weeks but not one that was
as severe as the halo brace. He is eating pureed food, can speak
and already giving Christine orders!!!!
David lost all his top teeth in the fall and my wife has promised
him a kiss when he gets them replaced - if that's not an incentive
I don't know what is!!!
The hospital has transferred him to an Orthopaedic Ward and he is
getting great care.
Providing all goes well between now and Monday the hospital will
be looking to transfer him to a hospital in Salisbury for further
All our prayers answered - what a relief for Christine, his family
PS. Reminder - those of you who have not yet sent in your Menu please
30th August 2011
Spoke with Christine this morning regarding David. He is number
one on the list to be sent to the hospital in Salisbury but until
two other patients are found suitable properties to go home to he
is to stay where he is. She feels everything has come to a grinding
The Salisbury Hospital allow him one weekend away from the premises
so he is hoping to attend the Reunion.
David is eating soft foods and has a reasonably good appetite.
In view of the success of David's latest operation and his progress
visiting is now allowed
David is on Ward F4 in the main General Hospital, Southampton, and
visiting is from 3.00pm to 8.00pm.
It's heartening to hear some good news!!!!!
9th September 2011
Good news from Chriistine - David goes to Salisbury
today, possibly for 6 - 9 months! He has the collar removed next
Friday so that will give him a little bit of freedom.
No details as such regarding visiting yet but David has been told
that he will have a Timetable for a week at a time; visiting will
be allowed in between his classes and Christine has specially asked
that you please check with the hospital/ward BEFORE you visit as
we must bear in mind that for the first few months David will be
very worn out after doing the classes.
Christine sends her thanks for all for the help and support they
have been given.
19th September 2011
I am sure you have all received a message from Colin saying that
David finally moved to the Spinal Unit at Salisbury. We are so thankful
that he has now got there and know that he will be looked after
properly. I am afraid his care was not brilliant after he left the
Neuro Hospital and moved to an Orthopaedic Ward. They admitted that
they did not know how to look after the specialised needs of a spinal
patient. Their needs are many and varied and some you would never
even think about! Now he is in the right place and they have sprung
into action already. David has had every test,
x-ray, scan you could imagine. He will be kept on bedrest for about
10 days to build up his strength. The food is marvellous and cooked
fresh and all his needs are catered for. He now has a buzzer he
can work to call a nurse for help, TV and radio which he can work
- just by tapping a pad - obviously he still does not have much
use in his hands.
The whole work ethos has now been explained to us. He will be given
a calendar every Friday mapping out all his classes. Patients do
not do extended physical work as this has proved detrimental to
progress, but only an hour at a time and probably only two sessions
a day. Then scattered during the week he will have other lectures,
occupational therapy, computer classes etc to attend. Leisure time
is very important and they have lots of time in between to rest
and have visitors. Once he is in a wheelchair, he will have access
to the unit's facilities and leisure areas. It all feels so much
more positive now. We have spoken to the doctors and they agree
that visitors are a welcome distraction. You may have to wait while
he finishes a class, but the surroundings are pleasant!
I know various people have said they would like to visit and David
would welcome them. Visiting is between 11 am and 8 pm.
The address is:
Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre
Salisbury District Hospital
Telephone: 01722 336262 ext 2430
I would once again like to thank everyone for their positive emails,
28th October 2011
David is doing well. He has got quite a lot of movement back in
his arms, legs and hands. The hands are slower than the rest because
when you break your neck and have spinal damage there, the hands
are the main things to be affected, but the hospital are hopeful
with work they will improve. Of course that makes everything difficult
for David, having no use of his hands. He worked up to 2 hours in
the wheelchair but got a red mark on his bottom. This is quite normal
and is not a bedsore. thankfully with the expert care he receives
he is free of them. Another problem with spinal damage is sensitive
skin. The neurological system works overboard and upsets lots of
things. He had to go back into bed, off his back for a week, but
is now up and about again. Another problem is excess wax in the
ears. He was hoping to have his ears suctioned yesterday but we
couldn't get him to his appointment in the other hospital in time,
so that will be next week now. Then he will be able to hear properly
again. It is so isolating not being able to hear.
Occupying David is no problem. We spend a fair bit of our time dealing
with his correspondence, he still maintains his Shares files and
other financial affairs. Also we have developed quite a social life
with the other patients, relatives and staff and have a lot of fun.
In between all this, David manages to fit in quite a lot of physio.
After all this, it is nice just to relax, talk and play games, do
crosswords, quizzes etc. David is still the same man, thank goodness,
he is still funny, witty and very loving and there is nowhere else
I would rather be than with him, wherever that is! I am very thankful
that I still have him. At first they didn't give much for his chances
but he got through that and will get through his recovery in due
course. He has improved hugely since he arrived at Salisbury and
they are really pleased with his recovery so far.
Today they are hoping to do his physio on a tilting table. This
will start to get some real feeling back into his legs etc. It will
be the first time he has been really upright since the accident.
He will be strapped to the table and do his normal physio at the
same time. Next Tuesday they hope to get him in the swimming pool
and the hydro pool. He can't wait for that - to feel his feet on
the bottom of the pool. They say these two things are the next stage
of his recovery and he will be able to work harder with that. Shame
he can only get in the pool once a week, due to pressure on staffing.
It was David's birthday on Wednesday. Our friend made him a lovely
decorated sponge and also a dozen beautifully decorated cupcakes
for the staff andhis sister made him a lovely fruit cake. These
went down very well with staff and visitors.
As soon as David is up in the wheelchair for longer he will see
the dentist in the main hospital and get a denture. I think everyone
knows that he knocked all his upper front teeth out in the accident
and the back upper ones fell out in trauma. Eating is a little more
difficult (he can't have the steaks he so loves) but he is managing
very well with food and is gaining some strength and muscle now.
He can't wait for his new teeth!!!
David and I know that it is going to be a very long job at Salisbury
and he is quite prepared to stick with it and make the best possible
recovery. We are aware that he could be here for 6 - 12 months but
David is not disheartened and just determined to get as fit as possible
in as shortest time as possible. We are looking forward to his first
David would like to thank everyone for their cards, emails,letters
and visits. He appreciates the time everyone is giving him.
Best wishes to everyone. David, Danny or Moll (however you know
11th November 2011
Just thought I would send you all a ‘catch up’ on David’s
progress. Sorry to all those people who have already heard this
news because they have emailed or telephoned recently; you are on
my distribution list, so I have left your name there.
What some great days David is having. Firstly he doesn’t have
to wear his collar any more when he is in his wheelchair and so
now he looks absolutely normal when he is out of bed and dressed
(well apart from no top front teeth which he knocked out in the
accident!!!!). He is out of bed for now for four hours and feeling
much more comfortable in the chair. We go over to the main hospital
for a coffee and it is a bit like a home from home with other patients
from the unit and their families so quite good fun. On Sunday David's
brother and niece visited and came with us. Ruth cut David's hair
while she was there so he looks all fresh and handsome again! Then
we went back to the Day Room and David watched football on the huge
TV (Tottenham who he loves) with the other chaps. They were all
talking the game so that was good for him to have lots of 'men'
talk. Then he got back into bed (no marks on the bottom - fantastic)
so he will build up more time each day. It was lovely - it was like
getting him back as he was before in lots of ways. He went into
the hydro pool last week which he loved. Things are really going
in the right direction. We know it will be slow but at least it
David went back in the pool again on Tuesday for an hour and during
that time the physios let him put his feet on the bottom. They put
weights on his feet and he walked, easily, 12 lengths of the full
size pool!!! He had a physio on both sides of him - all they did
was held his elbows, no other support. We’ve known for some
time that his legs are strong but did not know if he could co-ordinate
the act of walking, but the good news is he can. It was fantastic
to see and I must admit I had a few tears to see him on his feet
again. He has such a wonderful fighting spirit.
David has now had a go at a special bike and has pedalled the equivalent
of 2k with his legs and 1.7k with his arms. Physios are delighted
with him. We are not kidding ourselves, we know it doesn't necessarily
mean he will walk again, but he has a good chance. He has also managed
to hold some things in his hands, although he still does not have
enough power in them to do much yet.
I have now found somewhere really lovely to stay. It is only 5 minutes
from the hospital and the owner of the house is really nice and
so accommodating. I will stay there 3 or 4 nights, home 2 nights
and Mum’s 1 or 2 (try to figure that one out!). I have been
staying in the bungalow owned by the League of Friends. You have
to share a room and pack your case up each night so it is not very
settled but nevertheless I was grateful. It’s odd waking up
in the middle of the night and trying to figure out where you are
David sends his very best wishes to everyone and does enjoy your
emails, letters, cards etc and visits too.
Love and best wishes too from me, Christine xxx
26th November 2011
David is doing so well. He looks really good. If he had his top
front teeth, he would look completely normal! He has seen the Ear,
Nose & Throat doctor. From the scans and x-rays on his head,
it appears that he may have damaged his ear drum in the fall. As
we know, he fractured his skull quite badly in several places. David
does not want any surgical repair done at this stage, so they are
going to try him with a hearing aid first. He should get this any
time now, so we hope that will improve his hearing. David has lost
over three and a half stone since the accident and was looking pretty
gaunt. He is now putting on a little weight and his face has filled
out again and gradually a bit of muscle is returning. He is now
out in the wheelchair from about 11 am until 5 pm and his skin is
good when they put him back to bed. They will gradually creep the
time up half an hour a day until he is out of bed for 8 hours. He
has had a go at moving the chair himself but he does not have a
lot of power in his hands so although he can go in a straight line
easily, it is not so easy to negotiate corners etc. He is determined
to get more use back in his hands and is doing all sorts of therapy
to strengthen them and they are definitely improving. His shoulders
are a bit stiff too and he is working on them. A couple of weeks
ago, he wouldn’t have been able to hold his arms out in front
for more than a moment or two, but now does quite fiddly therapy
with his hands, where he has to have his arms stretched out for
extended periods. Although his fingers are still stiff and painful,
they are improving.
We had a Goal Planning Meeting last Friday. This is to plan goals
for the next month. David wants to (1) Get his hands working better
(2) Get on his feet on dry land (3) Be more independent and have
the use of an electric wheelchair (4) Feed himself/Clean his own
teeth (5) Look at possibility of having a few days home at Christmas
and (6) Plan for a discharge date to work towards. More on these
David continues to go in the hydrotherapy pool and does very well
with his physio. He is still walking in the pool and practices standing
still upright and balancing too. I must say it is very difficult
to stand still and upright as I found this week when I was allowed
in the pool with him. It is gorgeously hot – 35 degrees. It
was wonderful being next to him upright again. I suppose I had forgotten
how tall he is, having been laid down or sitting for so many months.
I must admit, we sneaked a little kiss and cuddle together. The
physios are really good fun and we got told to behave – no
petting in the pool! What spoilsports. They are hoping in the next
week or two to transfer this to attempting to stand on dry land.
We can’t wait to see if he will be able to support his weight.
What we want more than anything is (a) to walk a few steps so that
he can have access to all areas of our home and (b) to get his hands
working well so that he can do as many of the things he did before
as possible. I don’t care what he says, though, I am drawing
the line at him chopping wood!!!
David can now feed himself all his meals when he is in his chair
but can’t manage when he is in bed as he is at the wrong angle.
He can also clean his own teeth at the basin when he is sat out.
Work on his hands and legs is obviously ongoing but definitely improving.
Today he had his first go in an electric wheelchair. Physios showed
him the controls and he was able to manage them without any adaptations.
The two physios were both very impressed with him. He went all over
the hospital with them doing all sorts of things. Getting into tight
places, reversing into his bed space, going through doors and doing
360 degree turns. He did everything and didn’t hit anything.
They said he was the best they have ever seen for a first attempt.
That’s my boy!! There could be problems about going home for
Christmas. We still have a month. To avoid having a carer come in
a couple of times a day, David would have to learn to transfer himself
from his chair to the car, chair to bed etc. If he can’t,
they say it would be difficult getting the appropriate type of help
over the Christmas period. So, David may stay in the Centre for
Christmas with Mum and I with him. The reports say that that they
have a fun time and the Christmas dinner is good. We had planned
to make this Christmas different – probably not exactly what
we had in mind, but we are willing to embrace change, in fact we
are getting good at it!
We were also surprised to get a discharge date of the end of February.
We were expecting them to say probably April. Obviously this is
not cast in stone. They want David to go home with the best recovery
possible (so do we) so they say if at discharge date they think
they can improve on anything, then they will extend his stay and
we are happy to agree with that.
David is still cheerful and positive and very determined. He often
takes me over to the main hospital to the restaurant there where
he buys me a coffee. In the next week or so, we will cancel either
his lunch or dinner and go over to the restaurant for a meal together.
Also in the next couple of weeks, we can get the bus into Salisbury
and have a mooch around. These are two things we are really looking
I personally think things are looking very positive for David and
the staff are very pleased with his progress.
I am very happy in the house I have found to stay in. I have a bedroom,
my own bathroom and toilet and use of the kitchen and sitting room.
The lady who owns the house is lovely but works very long hours
in publishing so I hardly ever see her but we always leave each
other notes. She is so kind to me and treats me like a treasured
guest. The house is huge and gorgeous and best of all, less than
five minutes from the hospital. I have only been here two weeks,
just 3 or 4 nights a week, but am already feeling far more rested.
David and my Mum both feel happier for me too.
David has asked me to thank everyone for their letters, cards, visits,
phone calls to me etc and for all the good wishes he is receiving.
It is cheering for him to know that he is not forgotten. He sends
his very best wishes to everyone. I also send my love and best wishes
and thank everyone for their continued support. We will send out
another bulletin before Christmas.
LATEST UPDATE ON DAVID – 1ST
We thought you might be interested to hear the latest news on David’s
David has his power chair and is completely independent now. He
can take himself off to his Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy
sessions and doesn’t have to wait for the nurses or me. Hydrotherapy
hasn’t happened for the last three weeks. His physio was on
leave and then Christmas meant some things had to be shelved. This
starts up again this week and we are both looking forward to getting
in the lovely warm pool. I go in too now and help during his physio
session and then we are allowed to ‘fool about’ together
for 15 minutes before we have to get out.
Two weeks before Christmas, David’s OT Sue took us into town
on the local bus. I went too and she showed me how to get him on
and off the bus, where to pick up the bus etc. We passed the test
with flying colours and now we are free to come and go as we please
when David does not have any sessions – mainly weekends. Well,
needless to say we couldn’t wait and went to Salisbury City
Centre the very next day. We managed very well. David has fantasised
about having a burger, probably for the last three months. Funnily
enough we only ever have them about twice a year, but he has really
fancied one, so we headed straight for Burger King where he had
a Double Whopper, Fries and a Milkshake and ate the lot!!! Then
a couple of days before Christmas, a few of us took taxis into town
and went to the Carol Service at Salisbury Cathedral. This was beautiful
and another learning curve to take a wheelchair taxi.
On the run up to Christmas, staff arranged for a Jazz Band to come
in to entertain us. Another evening we had a quiz and another pizzas
were brought in.
We had Christmas in the Spinal Unit and the staff did their very
best to ensure we had a good time. Of course it was very different
and not home, but my mother joined us for three days which meant
that at least we were all together. One way and another we had fun.
We have both made a lot of good friends here; friends who will probably
stay with us for ever. The unit has a wonderful atmosphere, the
staff are really dedicated and happy and the patients cheerful and
Since Christmas, the two physios have been working very hard with
David and have had him standing up in a standing frame. He can get
up under his own steam with only the tiniest bit of assistance.
His legs are really strong. He has not attempted walking (on dry
land) yet. They feel it is far too soon and he agrees but the fact
he can get up is marvellous. He has also worked this week on ‘transferring’.
This is something which would be a wonderful advantage and would
allow him to move from chair to chair, chair to bed and chair to
car seat. This would really cut down on any assistance he would
need when he is discharged.
He has also seen a dentist who hopes to start working on his teeth
at the end of January.
Everyone who visits says how well David looks and how much he is
improving. He is working hard on getting his hands moving. We know
they will never work perfectly again but he will give it his best
We are working on the premise that he has another two months before
the proposed discharge date of 29th February. A lot can happen in
two months, so watch this space!!!
We both hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and would like
to thank everyone for their Christmas cards, emails etc. We love
hearing from you.
We both wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2012.
Love and best wishes Christine and David
UPDATE - 8TH FEBRUARY 2012
Just to let you all know that we are still on target for a discharge
date of 29th February. David's rehabilitation will be ongoing after
discharge with the help of a physio who will come to the house to
work with him. Also I have been taught how to do one or two exercises
to do with David daily to try to strengthen his arms and improve
the movement in his fingers. We do realise now that his arms/hands
will never be strong enough to support him and enable him to use
crutches or a frame and this is because of the position of his spinal
injury - his neck - injuries to neck always affect arms/hands.
David continues to stand in a frame and work on strengthening his
legs so he may or may not walk in the future, we have no way of
knowing yet. However David is very adept in his power chair and
manages to manoeuvre it successfully with his fingers.
David has completed all his preparatory work with the dentist. He
knocked out quite a lot of his top teeth, "roots and all"
but some were broken off leaving the roots behind. These roots have
all been removed and he will have to wait until he gets home to
have a top denture made. All went well and he is now back to eating
everything quite well, except for his latest craving - a T bone
steak! I think he is going to have to wait a little while for that!
I am working with our local Occupational Therapist to prepare for
David's return home. As he cannot go upstairs for the foreseeable
future, we have decided to convert David's Snooker Room into our
bedroom. For the next few months David will have to continue sleeping
on a hospital bed with special spinal mattress so this will be delivered
in the next week or so. I have bought a single bed to place alongside
David's so that we can be together again. As soon as possible, we
will build an en suite walk in shower alongside the loo already
there. After a few months when David can come back into our new
big bed, we can move that down and pick up where we left off in
This weekend we are having a "dummy run" for going home.
The hospital has a self-contained flat and we are moving to see
what help we might need and to highlight any problems we might encounter.
We can't wait to get home together, although some things do seem
a little scary. However, we are determined to carry on in the same
way and treat the whole thing as a challenge and an adventure.
David is still very positive about everything and I would like to
think that I am too so we will face what life throws at us together
and overcome everything and continue to have a wonderful, loving
Once again, both David and I would like to thank everyone for their
support and for telephone calls, visits, letters, emails etc. David's
intention is to produce another Newsletter during his first month
at home so I expect the next update will be contained in that.
With love and best wishes to you all
David and Christine.