July 3, 2024

Kieran’s story

I’m originally from Bristol, but I moved to Manchester for university and subsequently became a delivery driver for Ocado. I loved living in Manchester. However my life changed completely when I sustained a spinal injury after a fall.

I was initially taken to Salford Royal hospital in Manchester where I underwent surgery on my spine. I remained in intensive care for a number of weeks before being transferred to Southmead Hospital Bristol where I began my rehabilitation. I was then fortunate enough to be moved to Salisbury District Hospital and it was there that I first learned about Horatio’s Garden South West.

Upon my arrival in Salisbury, I had to isolate for the first week, so I was allocated a side room. My room looked out over the garden and it was really teasing to be stuck inside watching a beautiful garden coming to life at the beginning of spring. When I was allowed outside, I went straight down to Horatio’s Garden with my parents. I have loved spending time in the garden ever since.

Having a spinal injury and spending time in hospital is a character builder and it’s been really hard at times, particularly in regard to the pain and challenges that I’ve faced. I used to be a very independent person and having to learn to live with certain challenges knocked my confidence and my view of myself. However, I always tried to remind myself that a wheelchair is simply a mode of transport and does not define me.

The arts activities in Horatio’s Garden are a really good distraction from the difficulties of spinal injury, and they’re brilliant social times too. I particularly enjoyed the live music sessions from great musicians like Jim Chorley and Hummingbird. I love playing the drums so they invited me to perform with them in the garden which meant the world to me. Live music really helped me to come out of my shell and do something that I’m passionate about, and it was good for physio too! My family often came to visit me when I was playing with musicians in the garden and it really helped them to see how much I enjoyed it, how I was making progress and how I was still able to do something that I loved.

The day before I was discharged from hospital I played a solo performance in the garden for my loved ones and my friends from the ward. I had so much fun and it was amazing to be able to show them how far I had come following my injury. I returned home to Bristol and I am now going to the gym and physio frequently to build up my stamina and continue my rehabilitation. I have a hand controlled car and now I return to Horatio’s Garden South West regularly to play the drums for other patients and their loved ones in my own live music sessions. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to come back to the garden as it helped me so much, and I hope I can inspire other patients that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Share this:

Keep in touch

Sign-up to hear the latest news and activities from Horatio’s Garden

By completing this form, you confirm that you are aged 18 years or over and that you are happy to receive emails from Horatio’s Garden in accordance with our Privacy Policy. We will never share your details with anyone else without your express permission.

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping