It's the time of year where we embrace and love those around us, taking the opportunity to reflect on the past year and look forwards to the next year’s hopes and dreams with a wonderment of what could be.
Christmas is seen by many as a magical time of year, a time where people’s wishes really do come true, a time for stories, magic and what some would call miracles...
Once upon a time a kind and gentle local man worked hard in security, protecting those around him that he served. He was an incredible family man with 15 children, some would say an incredibly busy man but one who always found time for his family and time to further himself as well, he had great aspirations to become a chef so made sure he found the time to qualify, a great inspiration and role model for his growing family.
Unfortunately one sad day life dealt him a card that wasn't expected and he suffered a significant injury causing him to undergo a tracheotomy, weakening his throat muscles which then put him at constant risk of choking. He and his loved ones had no alternative but agree to a gastro tube believing at the time this would keep him safe, allowing him to receive fluid, medication and nutrition ... For two years this became his life ... Everything through a tube!
Such is life he and family thought, at least he was here and alive, however he never got used to it, he had loved food, preparing it, cooking it, eating it, after all he trained to become a chef, food was a big part of his life!
Then one day things changed, enablement brought new hope. Creativity and innovation from those around him sought new solutions, partnership working and clear communication all round, with planning, found a new path for him to journey down.
Suddenly the impossible became a reality! For the first time in 2 years this kind and gentle family man, under watchful guidance from those around him, ate an actual piece of food and drank some water from a glass … the first step on a road thought not possible.
His new journey had begun and although it was a slow journey that consisted of blended food and thickened drinks … there was hope … but it wasn’t going to stay like this for long, this determined gentlemen wanted his food back, he wanted to feel the shape, size and texture of it on his tongue again, he wanted to remember what it felt like to chew, to enjoy every mouthful.
A few weeks past and with more partnership working and great communication the innovative team around him enabled him to take the next step … actual soft food! The light at the end of the tunnel was shining bright and he tasted things like Lasagna … it tasted so good he could have been in Italy!
A few more weeks passed and the time had come for normality to return. With such an improvement made he was able to try normal foods … everyone was amazed … his throat was swallowing beautifully and everything internally was working as it should be … his time had come, he was given the best gift ever and was told ‘you can eat normally again!’
This kind and gentle man had got part of his life back, people said it couldn’t and wouldn’t be done, determination from him and belief in him from those who supported him daily meant it could, he knew what he wanted, and he went and got it! He took the first leap of faith … he dared to dream big … he challenged those who said it couldn’t be done … so what will this year hold for him now he’s stronger and physically more fit!
This is a true life story that has become a reality for a person ubu serves.. His enablers have stayed firmly beside him each step of the way and have celebrated with him; his dream is now his reality. Just 8 weeks ago he ate normal food for the first time a tremendous achievement.
Christmas is the perfect time to make a wish, dream a new path and grab the opportunities that come your way … don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel … just stride down there and switch it on yourself!
Wishing you, your family and friends the hope and support to trust your dreams. With love, peace and happiness this Christmas.