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Tom’s story – on why Therapies Matter

“At the start of last year (2016) I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (a type of bone cancer) in my right tibia having suffering from pains in my lower leg. I had six cycles of Chemotherapy and then I had my operation where I had my tibia removed and had a donor bone put in which was hollowed out and my fibula was put inside of the donor bone. I then had a further eight cycles of Chemotherapy at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre on the Teenage and Young Adult Ward. I’m now using crutches to help me get around as my leg isn’t strong enough to walk on yet.

“As you can imagine, it’s been a long road to recovery and it wasn’t until August, that I was referred to the RUH’s Hydrotherapy Department for help with strengthening my leg and getting me up to speed with my recovery. At my first session, I was greeted by Bronwen, who’s one of the physiotherapists. She recognised me from a few years ago as I previously had a back operation at the Circle in Bath and had recovery Physio and Hydrotherapy sessions at the RUH, so it was nice to see a friendly face. She put me at ease straight away and so far I’ve been having sessions in the pool once a fortnight.

“I’m back at work now, but it was a struggle in the beginning as I can’t put any weight on my right leg and being on crutches it’s difficult to move easily and quickly as everyone else. But, since having the therapy sessions in the hydro pool, I’ve felt more independent, and I can get around, so I’m doing more and most importantly I can now pick up and hold my young daughter, put her to bed and do all the other things you want and need to do when you have kids, whereas I couldn’t before.  Hydrotherapy has helped me be more confident and I’m now able to be about 50% weight bearing, so it’s great feeling that I’m getting there.”

RUH Physiotherapist, Bronwen says: “Hydrotherapy is really a form of physiotherapy in water. Using the buoyancy, heat and pressure of the water, enables patients like Tom to walk in water when they are unable to walk on land. This helps reduce pain and swelling, so Tom can strengthen his legs and maintain fitness. It’s been great to see Tom’s progress, so far, he’s doing really well.”

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