Out there you must be flooded with very worthful applications, but my application is one 100% Honesty factual so on that note let first explain who I am and who this is for.
My name is Barry O’Connell aged 69 married for 45 Golden electric years to Jenny to whom this is dedicated and for.
So let’s turn the clock back to 1145am Sunday 13th March 2005 after serving my country I moved into my late Mothers bungalow it is in a quite cul de sac now I wanted to prune the trees so after reading health and safety lecture on ladders and human beings I got a tow rope tied the ladder to the tree placed wedges under the feet to stop a slide down tugged, pulled kicked the ladder after all safety in the forces is paramount so all in good order climb twenty five feet, hardly been up there five minutes when I heard a massive crack looking down found the main branch holding the ladder had broke so the ladder started to move forward I thought wait until the movement stops then climb down.
Sadly it happen the ladder stopped quickly result was myself being whipped lashed off the ladder and though I had been a medic I knew it was very bad but my brain was in forces mode I truthfully thought I been slotted and I crawled behind a bush one I tried to land on to break my fall. Finally I raise myself up on my car and someway some how got indoors. Now servicemen and women never worry how bad they get hit when my wife got in to our bedroom finding me sitting in great pain. I told her I pulled my back could she get some deep heat and rubbed it in which she did, but finally I conceded what happen and it was hospital time. I drove myself with her to our local small cottage hospital, I was told after people stop crawling over I was being cass vacated out of there but nobody told me the damage so a ambulance turn up and I was transported to a local airfield to the waiting chopper. I heard Stoke Mandeville so I knew that sounds serious then it was changed to a general hospital, then we landed and treatment started or should but sadly after three attempents of doing various things they gave up and handed me over to the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital Stanmore.
I went to my first outpatient appointment the day the bombs went off in London, we was almost at Bolsover Street which around the corner from the bus bomb if we had not got caught up in heavy traffic we would have arrived at the time it happen. But I finally made it, week late but they told me I had broken my back in three places T1 to T4 as it was told really smashed up in fact T1 was in bits and worse because the general hospital had made a mess of my treatment it was two serious to operate they were stuck what to do.
I spent the remainder of 2005 and all of 2006 travelling to numerous MRI scans CT scan appointments finally a lady physio asked how long had I been wearing the Phily collar as my head could not be supported, they put this special collar on to keep up my head and support my neck. She looked so shocked when I said eighteen months she explained the max wearing time was just three months so she checked but I was wrong in fact I worn it nineteen months, she went and got the spinal specialist they discuss what was best, he recommend putting a plate across my neck to pull the head up and off my chest.
But at the end of January 2007 a letter dropped on my mat from the spinal specialist who wanted to carry out a full throastic operation, yet he had told me it was far to dangerous to operate, yet this was the last chance left so I left home for the last stand my wife had gone trough so much in life but she knew what ever happens then it has to be, after all she keeps my life insurance in her handbag!
So I signed the consent form he explained as I was so mega fit from the forces hecwas chancing it was I ready all I said was go for it, so the next day at 1400 I went for the op and they really had to work that day, I lost so much blood they did not where it was leaking from then the lungs collapsed and the paddles had to restart my old boilers it was that close but to keep me alive as I got puenomania by now I was put out into space on a vent to assist me to breath. Finally I escaped from ITU went on general ward where I applied for puenomania again got over that and broke a record. Stanmore had the countries best record for MRSA yet I broke it a pipe into my neck contained it, so hardly had I been told this and I went into isolation but finally I got over it and returned home to my brand new life style.In all my specialist told me monthes later I was just 45 minutes from them closing the shop, thank the forces for being so mega fit
I had placed inside four titanium rods from T1 to L5 basically from the neck to the bottom every vertbre is plated with in total 85 bolts inside me, at the top and bottom are plates with hooks and wires attached to the rods around the breakage is caged cost of the op was £50,000 I am the first and from I am told the only one of this type.
Now after a couple of years I applied for a Assistance Dog and as I had worked with bomb weapon dogs in the forces I knew I had to have one. I got partnered withe charities first properly partnered Flat Coated Retriever he was also their biggest dog, he has been my partner for six golden years, he has taken over 90% of my wife’s carers role. He got award the PDSA higest commendation for saving me and my wife a Juggernaut 40 ton lorry coming towards us my dog broke his lead his lead attachment raced to the kerb edge facing the speeding lorry but the driver managed to some how some way swing the lorry away. I almost broke my dogs neck thanking him this is like him getting the PDSA George Cross.
Now my darling wife last in her last breast screening was found to have breast cancer in a rare area in the milk duct but luck they caught it in just time. She had a op and six weeks of treatment the whole issue put her in a huge strain but she is so brave no complaints no moans but it drained her, I made sure our home run like clock work but then same time this year she was found to have her womb sagging badly so she had to have a hystericme so she had a operation six weeks of taking it easy as like last year every thing was all at the same time by quirky chance.
So our garden is a nature natural garden in other words pure jungle the birds love it as we got over run quite a bit ! I want for her to have a nature garden but a area where she can sit with me in my chair with our Assistance Dog by the way he has his own toilet in the garden all our dogs only go to toilet on commands I asked him on arrival did he want lights god no he said I want privacy but I love her so much every day in Stanmore she travelled itvtook three hours yet her smile never dipped at all everything thrown at her so had that smile.
I also suffer from PTSD she has that to to contain with, my pain is so sever I live on Morphine it feels I am on a cheese grater being rubbed up and down yet I operate with a few main things for her happiness retain my smile try when pain and soreness is at its worse I zip my lip again keep smiling moaning groaning is not my game. I get very tired at times yet I keep it quite.
I so would love to see her face if we had a garden you could feel like your in heaven peace quiet I would love a small or tiny pond or fountain listening to water twinkling is music to ones ears, if this dream could come true I die such a happy man
One last thing I forgot to tell you was when in my early thirties I as/a medic knew I had a bad bowel problem no Medical Officer believe me I saw four yet I was told worry IBS stress the lot finally I pleaded with the fifth M.O he gave as he said fifteen minutes to prove I did a week later I had a op lost a bit of my bowel. I had no further problems other than getting non aggrisive facial cancer in 2008.
Please I beg plea make her a garden of the type we all heard those words how lovely I would love her to say those words
But thank you for reading this and thank you for such a great programme
16 Saxstead Drive
Essex CO16 7LH