RUH Christmas

The incredible NHS saved my life and does exceptional work on a daily basis. With the help of charitable support, they can push the boundaries of healthcare through innovation, research, cutting-edge equipment, enhancing spaces and supporting staff even further.

I’m Ed Jackson.  I would like to share my story and ask that you give a life changing gift this Christmas to help the Royal United Hospitals Bath provide extraordinary healthcare for everyone.

In 2017, I had a freak accident at a friend’s BBQ and dived into a deceptively shallow pool. It left me with catastrophic injuries including a broken neck and spinal damage, and which led to me being resuscitated three times. I heard the words that I never thought I would hear…’it’s unlikely you’ll ever walk again’. But I didn’t want to give up. If there was still a tiny chance of me regaining the use of my legs, then I was going to take it.

The recovery and rehabilitation at three different hospitals was the hardest thing I have ever faced. The RUH was instrumental in my recovery and I started rehab in the neurological ward with head physiotherapist Pete Bishop, an ex-army man. His military background resonated well with me as a professional rugby player. I remember him saying ‘I think we’ll have you up and about in no time’. This was the first time anyone in my care had said this to me, and if he had a catchphrase, it would be ‘ramp it up’, I felt lucky to have him.

All of the staff were extraordinary and I’m forever grateful to the RUH for helping me to get back on my feet and walk again without a frame. I haven’t stopped trying to claim back every millimetre of movement since. After months of intensive physiotherapy, I began to walk on crutches, then take a few steps without it. The steps turned to metres and then miles. Within a year, I stood
on top of Mount Snowdon with the dream of showing others facing their own seemingly impossible challenges that there is hope.

The incredible people of the NHS saved my life and none of this would have been possible without them.

Since then, I have been supporting The Forever Friends Appeal and I was an ambassador for their fundraising campaign to raise funds towards the RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre. It’s a purpose-built facility with modern amenities including a large hydrotherapy pool, a specialist gym and rehabilitation equipment to help patients recover from illness or injury.

As a spinal injury patient, I have learned just how important the environment is to wellbeing and recovery, having spent so much time lying down and staring at the ceiling, and unable to leave the hospital setting. Therapeutic environments, calming surroundings and mental stimulation are hugely beneficial.

My journey highlights just one of the many projects that the charity has helped to fund. The Forever Friends Appeal helps the RUH to do more and provide exceptional healthcare for everyone. They push the boundaries of healthcare through innovation, research, cutting-edge equipment, enhancing spaces and supporting staff to be extraordinary.

For me, Christmas is a time for contemplation, appreciation and community. I want to continue supporting this amazing charity which is striving to improve the health of people in our community. They rely on the generous support of the public, which is why I feel I have to ask for your help.

Please give a life changing gift this Christmas by making a donation today! Your support will ensure patients like me continue to receive the very best care.

I never thought in a million years that anything like this would happen to me, but it did and I am so grateful for the extraordinary care that I received.

I hope that my story today helps you to understand the vital part you can play in helping to rebuild the lives of lucky people like me.

Wishing you the very best Christmas,