The following patient stories tell about the experiences of patients using GTG services.  GTG welcome patient feedback and are always keen to receive thoughts and ideas on how we can improve.

2018 Patient Stories

Torn cruciate ligament – The Sports Injuries Physiotherapist

“I tore my anterior cruciate ligament and came to GTG for my preoperative assessment. I saw a physiotherapist who specialises in sports injuries. She explained what to expect from my surgery, went through the postoperative protocol clarifying the timescales of recovery, taught me some exercises to help prepare for the surgery and answered all my questions allowing me to feel at ease. 

I then returned to see her postoperatively and felt very well looked after as she guided me all the way back to playing football again. The reception staff were welcoming and the facilities at the GTG clinic were perfect for my rehabilitation needs. I am very pleased with the care I received and will return in the future if ever I have another injury”.

Back Pain – The Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Team

“I’ve had lower back pain, on-and-off, since I was a teenager. However, one year ago my pain flared up severely. I was unable to work for some time and was unable to continue participating in the yoga classes which I love. With the help of my physiotherapists who specialised in treating back pain at GTG I have been able to continue working and have returned to my yoga classes. I have found their hands on treatment and back fit classes to be really beneficial for improving my pain”.

Erbs Palsy (nerve damage in arm) – The Paediatric Physiotherapy Team

“Physio has made a massive difference to my daughter and has helped her to be able to have movement in the arm and to be able to grip.

All of the staff have been very helpful. My daughter’s physiotherapist has helped her come along way”.

Gynaecology problems – The Women’s Health Physiotherapist

“I was referred to a specialist as I had an anterior prolapse which caused me a lot of discomfort and embarrassment and was affecting my everyday life. It was suggested that I have an operation to repair the prolapse and a possible hysterectomy.

To prepare for the operation I was asked to attend physiotherapy sessions with the physiotherapist that specialises in Women’s Health at the Guernsey Therapy Group.
The sessions in the weeks leading up to my operation were invaluable in that it was explained to me exactly how the operation would affect my body and I was shown how to do Pilates type exercises to help strengthen myself in preparation for the operation.

The individual sessions with Lyndsay after my operation were vital to me. I don’t know how I would have managed without them. Lyndsay gave me so much support and as a result I was able to gradually get stronger both physically and psychologically. She gave me the tools to be able to help myself which made me feel positive, determined and more in control of my recovery.

I also attended a six week evening course given by Lyndsay. The thorough nature of the sessions made it easier for me to remember them and carry on with them at home. I certainly felt the benefit of the exercises and strongly believe that they have greatly helped with my recovery. I still do the exercises on a daily basis as I recognise how much I benefit from them”.

Post knee surgery – The Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Team

“Within 24 hours of having knee surgery two of the physios from the PEH based physio team came to the ward and got me straight in to exercises. The first thing was to tell me what they already knew…that I would actually be able to move my knee joint! They were right!

Every day truly became a step forward in my recovery. There is no question that the team played a massive part in getting me where I am now.

With their expertise, encouragement and can do attitude with praise given each time a milestone was reached the confidence in my own ability grew.

Each member of the team quickly tailored the exercises to my capabilities on the day. The element of surprise was not knowing what time or which team member or more would arrive on the ward and chivvy me along to give it my all!

It is great from a patient’s point of view to meet all the team and be offered individual variations on the style of exercises and with the added benefit of building friendly relationships”.

Broken Neck – The Neurology Physiotherapists

“In the first 45 or so years of my life, I fortunately had no need to ever visit a physio, despite lots of falling off motorbikes and other accidents.

In February 2011, having sailed the Atlantic with my family, we were enjoying a fun day on the beach in a little island called Fernando De Noronha, about the size of Alderney around 100 miles off the coast of Brazil.

I was messing about in the surf when I was hit by a monster wave which smashed me on my back and broke my neck. I came to, virtually paralysed, floating face down in the water. I soon gave up trying to hold my breath and started swallowing sea water, before passing out.

I came to, lying on the beach surrounded by people, having been dragged unconscious out of the sea by my wife Bridget (with help from others).

Fortunately there was a small health centre on the island which had an ambulance (the only vehicle on the island that wasn’t a beach buggy), and they got me off of the beach onto a government plane and to a hospital in Recife.

Fortunately (again), it wasn’t a complete break, but a disc pressing on the spinal cord at C4/C5 level which caused swelling leading to the paralysis. I was operated on the next day to stabilise the neck and take the pressure off the spinal cord.

The surgeon and physios did a fantastic job and over the next few weeks, I was gradually able to move to a chair and then take a few steps with the aid of a zimmer frame.

After a month, I was well enough to return to the UK on a commercial flight, albeit with a fair bit of assistance. We had a stopover in Miami and despite Bridget’s and the medical assistants words of discouragement, I insisted on sitting on a barstool and having a pint.

Once back in the UK, I had to wait a month in hospital for a bed to become available in Salisbury spinal unit. This was a very frustrating time, as I was in a general ward with no physio and just lying there all day long. I had to stay in hospital, as it was only possible to transfer to Salisbury as an inpatient, but we did workout that I was allowed out during the day, provided that I was back in my bed by 19.00, so Bridget would pick me up after the school run and we would spend the day together, have an early supper before dropping me back to my ward.

I was eventually transferred to Salisbury, where I again started having lots of physio, but not until I had been confined to bed for 2 days for them to undertake their assessments. All the time in Salisbury that I was not in the gym, I would be on the exercise bike trying to make my legs work.

I was discharged from Salisbury after a month, as they thought they had done everything they could for me and had more urgent cases needing the bed. I returned to Somerset where I was referred to the community physios there. Although they obviously worked hard, having been used to 3 sessions of physio a day, I ended up with 30 minutes every 2-3 weeks physio time, which was no more than a check on progress and a list of exercises to do.

6 months after the accident I started working again – commuting to Jersey for a 6 week commission, and 2 months later we relocated to Guernsey so I could start a new business.

I was referred by Salisbury to the Physio’s at the PEH and suddenly found there was so much more I was able to achieve. My sessions led primarily by Tomi or Kitty were fantastic for my development, they never turned out how they were planned, as something would be spotted that gave a new avenue for investigation.

A great memory was when asked by Tomi what I wanted to achieve, I said skiing, running, cycling and golf. Within a week Tomi had me walking round the corridors at PEH with my ski boots on.

My first ski trip was 2 years after the accident, and had some interesting moments, as I could only turn left, but we have been skiing every year since and although far from my pre-accident form, I have been improving year on year.

Tomi also coached me on the cycle ride round Guernsey, giving me his bike and running alongside when my one broke, and took me for my first game of golf. I am not able to run yet, but am still working on it.

Seven years on I am still doing physio, now with Anne & trying Botox to see if that can improve things, as I still have very overactive muscles and some sensation problems, but otherwise have a fairly normal life.

I am a very lucky person, and put my recovery down to the following top three people (in order of importance):

  1. My wife Bridget – who fished me out of the sea, stopped me from dying and has never let me get away with not trying
  2. My surgeon Claudio – who said I would make a full recovery (belief is everything)
  3. The Physio’s at PEH – Who like Claudio and Bridget believe anything is possible, and have had the tenacity to keep looking for the areas to make the gains.

Many many people have also helped me over the years, and the prize is definitely worth the struggle.

Rehabilitation – Respiratory Physiotherapy Team

“I was diagnosed with lymphoedema in my left leg ten years ago and up until four years ago I was living a normal life. My lymphoedema started to get out of control and I found myself in a lot of daily pain and after a day at work my leg would swell considerably. Coming home after work all I could do was put my leg up to help ease the pain and swelling. This led me to being less active and only going out to work or seeing my family. My mood at this time was very low and I now think of it as being in a very dark place.

August 2015 started with me visiting my GP with breathlessness problems. I was signed off work and then referred to a specialist as my condition was not improving. I was supplied with oxygen to help me when I was walking but soon I had to use it when I was just sitting. I was signed off for a total of about five months.

January 3rd 2016 was the day I could not physically get out of the house to see my GP. I had a home visit and an ambulance was called to take me to hospital. I was admitted to Brock ward with respiratory distress. I was put on diuretics straight away and needed a catheter as I couldn’t walk very far. I also continued to need oxygen. I had always been a big man but over two years I had gone from twenty stone to forty-five stone and three pounds.

After one week I needed to be put on a Bipap machine. At this point I was very ill and my wife was called in and together we were told there was a chance I might not make it through the night. It was explained that if my heart stopped it was unlikely that I would be able to be resuscitated. My wife stayed at the hospital that night and only then did I realise how bad my situation was. It was at this point that something inside of me fell into place and I was determined to change. I made it through the night and although my wife stayed another night I was improving. Two days later I was taken off the bipap machine.

I was bed bound for three to four weeks then eventually I was able to be hoisted out into a chair. I was still taking diuretics and still had a catheter because I could not walk very far and was hindered by my size. My specialist referred me to the Respiratory physiotherapy team and that is when my journey back to normal life started.

The physios visited daily and I was given exercises that I could do my own and whenever I could. Then came the walking. First I used a walking frame with a physiotherapist either side of me and one behind with a wheelchair for when I found it too much. These walks were short to start with but I was feeling very emotionally down and was very frustrated with my progress. The team ensured that I worked at a pace that was right for me. I then tried using crutches but found they gave me too much back pain. The choice was then a walking frame or nothing. I remember my first unaided walk with two therapists, this was down the corridor to Carey Ward. I then built up to two walks a day which with the constant help and positivity of the physio team I achieved that within two weeks. Everyday my confidence grew and my depression lifted. I also had to learn to use the stairs safely, building up slowly and finally using them safely under the team’s guidance and patience.

I was also helped by the Occupational Therapist team who arranged items like a bed commode for me to have at home. I also saw the dietician and lymphoedema nurse too both of which I still see now.

My goal throughout this was to be able to walk out of the hospital unaided on my discharge. The determination and encouragement the Physiotherapy team gave me made it possible for me to do exactly that eight weeks after I was admitted.

Being back home was difficult to start with but my wife and I managed. I made a promise to her to get my life back on track and carry on improving for both of us. About a month and a half after my discharge from hospital my wife unexpectedly and suddenly passed away. At this point I could have gone either way but I remembered my promise to her and today I am over twenty stone lighter. I have joined a gym and I exercise as often as I can. My weight and diet are kept in check with monthly visits to the dietician and lymphoedema is under control thanks to my lymphoedema nurse. I am back to full time and can do all aspects of my job again. I am not where I want to be yet but continue now to complete my journey.

My experience with the respiratory physiotherapy team was excellent. Their daily positivity and constant encouragement and support played a huge part in me getting my quality of life back. I work in the hospital and on occasion still see some of the team who continue to care and support me”.

Shortness of Breath/Reduced Fitness – Respiratory Physiotherapy Team

“I was referred for physiotherapy by my GP following a diagnosis of AADT syndrome (Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency). My main problem was shortness of breath given that I have lost the use of the equivalent of one of my lungs due to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

I found any form of regular exercise was beneficial for my condition and my goal was to get fitter. I have now joined St Pierre Park Health Suite to maintain the progress I made at physiotherapy and Life Fit Classes at Beau Sejour at the gym. The Life Fit classes were excellent. The additional exercise I have done has definitely helped improve my quality of life. I found the Respiratory Physiotherapy team very helpful, knowledgeable and professional at all times”.

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