AN NHS worker who had to learn to walk again has trekked more than 10 miles to thank the “wonderful” staff who helped him get back on his feet.
Andy Scotson, 44, from Wrexham was struck down suddenly in June with myelitis, a condition that left him unable to stand up.
Last Sunday, just two months later, he walked with family and friends to raise money for patients healthcare charity Awyr Las.
Awyr Las is an umbrella charity for nearly 300 charitable funds that support patients in hospitals and patients receiving care and treatment in the community across North Wales.
Andy was admitted to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s Glyndŵr Ward on June 10 with acute abdominal pain and difficulty walking.
“First thing I was driving to Mold for a meeting,” said Andy, “and by lunchtime I’d been taken to the Emergency Department at the Maelor.
And over the next twenty four hours his walking deteriorated until he eventually fell and was unable to get back on his feet.
“It was quite a frightening time,” he said, “things seemed to be getting more serious but I didn’t know why, or how much worse it would get.”
But the following day a consultant neurologist from the specialist Walton Centre in Liverpool diagnosed myelitis, probably caused by a rare reaction to a virus, and Andy was put on a course of steroids.
And after three weeks in hospital he was starting to walk short distances without any support and was able to go home on crutches.
To demonstrate his thanks to staff, he decided a sponsored walk was appropriate.
“It would be a real challenge and a target to work towards in my rehabilitation,” he said.
After five weeks’ practise near his home, he walked from the canal at the Horseshoe Falls, through Llangollen, down to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and on to Chirk and the English/Welsh border.
“I didn’t know how far I’d get but with a support group of my wife Gwen and some close friends we did make it all the way to England, covering over ten miles.”
Andy said: “Being in hospital for three weeks was a real eye opener. A&E, theatres, urology, anaesthetics, neurology, pharmacy, radiology and physiotherapy- they were all involved in my care, and at every stage I felt in safe hands.
“The team on Glyndŵr Ward - the nurses, healthcare support workers, housekeeping, and domestic staff - were wonderful.
“They helped get me through some dark days and I was genuinely impressed by the care I received, and saw being given to other patients. I will always be grateful.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Andy-Scotson.