“Life was pretty difficult at the time, I was diagnosed as having a bulging disc that was compressing my spinal cord. I assumed this would get better on its own so continued to suffer before colleagues encouraged me to seek support from the Charity. Their staff could not have been more helpful and I subsequently went on a seven-day programme at Harcombe House in Devon.
“I was nervous at first as I didn’t want to aggravate my condition but my mind was soon put at ease by the professionalism and caring attitude of the staff. They took time to assess my condition and provided a bespoke programme to facilitate the free movement of my spine, as it had by this point all but seized up. They kept a close eye on me and encouraged me to participate in activities and within a couple of days I could feel the flexibility returning to my back. As there were a number of other people on the course, we all provided encouragement to each other.
“Unsurprisingly, you do only get out what you put in. You have to listen to the experts and do as much as you can, your body will tell you when it’s had enough! By the end I was tired and sore, but in a good way (I haven’t done that much exercise in a week for quite a few years!). I was sent home with a realistic programme to follow, which I can complete without specialist gym equipment, which is important as it has encouraged me to keep doing my exercises.
“I am certainly reaping the benefits, my pain levels are manageable and my range of movements vastly improved. I am not completely out of the woods yet as nature has to take its course but my back is now much stronger and life has returned to some form of normality. Any regrets? Only that I didn’t approach The Fire Fighters Charity sooner.”
We can’t be there for people like Richie without people like you. If you’re already a donor to the Charity, thank you. And if you’re not, please could you consider a small monthly donation to us? Because none of us know what’s going to happen in life, but if you’re there for us, we could be there for you or your loved ones someday.Share your story