Russell, currently serving as Crew Manager on Blue Watch at Wokingham Fire Station, told us his story when we met up with him at the station.
Whilst on a drill Russell slipped and snapped his anterior cruciate ligament stating that “it was excruciatingly painful”. Following an operation and a long period off work, Russell reached out to us, to help aid his rehabilitation. He spent his first week on our rehabilitation programme just three months after his operation.
However, five to six months after his first visit Russell’s knee still hadn’t healed completely and he spent another week on our rehabilitation course. Although, after two visits and despite being operationally fit Russell still felt that his knee wasn’t quite right experiencing pain and weakness.
“I was aware whilst I was operationally fit, I still had a lot of pain and it was a lot weaker.”
During his rehabilitation Russell made use of our Anti Gravity Treadmill which allowed him to run, for the first time since his injury, with only a proportion of his body weight. This allowed his muscles, joints and ligaments to be exercised without causing any further injury. Russell explains how “it was an absolutely invaluable piece of equipment…”
“For me it was the psychology of being able to run and keep my fitness levels up, but know I wasn’t going to do further damage.”
Having reflected on his journey Russell believes that “without The Fire Fighters Charity, I would have been off work a lot longer, it would have had a bigger impact on my working life, my domestic life and I do feel very very fortunate that the facility was there to get me back to work quicker…”
“It actually got me to a point where I was fitter and stronger than before my accident.”