Mark is a 52-year-old male living in Tidworth in Wiltshire. Mark has always been very active working at Heathrow Airport as well as enjoying wood turning and spending time on his motorbike. In March 2022 Mark suffered an aortic dissection and had a thoracic arch replacement. During the operation, Mark’s spinal cord was affected resulting in him losing the ability to walk or weight bear using his legs. Mark was told by doctors he would never be able to walk again and subsequently spent over 4 months in the hospital rehabilitating after the surgery. After being discharged from the hospital and wanting to keep up with his rehabilitation Mark found out about the I Can Therapy Centre and submitted a pre-screen in the hope the service could help him on his journey to walking again.

August 2022
Mark attended his first assessment in August 2022. During his first assessment, Mark explained his main goal was to be able to walk again, to do this Mark wanted to increase his muscle mass and strength around his hamstrings and glutes as well as increase overall strength and mobility in his whole body. Mark completed a range of tests to assess his functional capacity. Mark scored 0 repetitions on the sit-to-stand test and 37kg on his hand grip test. Mark also scored his perception of his physical and mental health as 6/10. After completing these functional tests, a program was devised for Mark to help him reach his goals.

February 2023
After attending the I Can Therapy centre for 6 months Mark attended his first review assessment in February 2023. In the review, Mark explained how he had noticed his legs had got a lot stronger and was now able to weight bear and even take a few steps using a walking aid. Completing the functional fitness measures mark scored 2 repetitions for the 30 second sit to stand test, a big improvement from the first assessment. Mark also scored 8/10 for his perception of his physical and mental health which again was a significant improvement from the first assessment. Mark’s goal is now to move between each exercise machine without having to use his wheelchair while still increasing the strength around his legs and glutes.

May 2023
Mark has continued attending the I Can therapy centre multiple times a week and has still been seeing amazing improvements. Mark is now able to move around the machines using just a walking aid to assist him. Mark’s goal now is to be able to walk without using his walking aid and in the future be able to get back on his motorbike.

When asked what does the I Can Therapy Centre mean to you, Mark explained “The I Can therapy centre means a lot to me, I cannot go to a “normal” gym so enables me to keep physically active and work in my rehabilitation knowing I am in safe hands, it has worked wonders and gives me an excuse to get up in the morning and it is something to look forward to.”

Mark also explained the impact that the I Can Therapy Centre has had on his life “Since starting at the therapy centre I am now able to walk using a walking frame and as I was told I would never walk again it has had a fairly significant impact, not only has it helps me physically but mentally as well, it is a great place to come and socialise and meet new people as everyone is very friendly.

When asked can you do anything now that you could not do before using the service, Mark explained “Not only can I now stand and walk with a frame, but transfers have also become a lot easier, for example getting out of a chair or out the car.”

Mark further elaborated on not only the impact that the I Can Therapy Centre has had for him but the impact on his family and friends, “My Partner has been there all the way on my journey and seen massive improvements in both my physical and mental health and wellbeing. She has noticed I have become a lot more social and am very determined to keep improving.”

When asked what you would say to other people considering using the I Can therapy centre, Mark explained “Just do it, it has made a substantial difference for me and I am confident it would do the same for anyone else considering joining.”

Mark’s partner Rachel commented, “I am very thankful to have found out about the I Can Therapy Centre as it has not only helped with Mark’s physical recovery but also his mental health which has made significant improvements since Mark started using the I Can Therapy Centre.”