In 2022, we were lucky enough to speak with Winston, then a patient in Horatio’s Garden Midlands, to discuss his story and what Horatio’s Garden mean to him.
Winston’s story begins in Birmingham in 2022, where he was enjoying working as a fire liaison officer at the local prison.
Six months into the role, he started feeling pain on the left side of his body. After the pain gradually worsened, a blood test revealed an infection that would eventually spread to his spinal cord, leaving him unable to use his legs.
Winston had emergency surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, staying there for eight weeks before being transferred to the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopedic Hospital in Oswestry. It is there that Winsotn first encountered Horatio’s Garden.
During his stay in Oswestry, Winston came to the garden several times a day, saying, “I’m not the sort of person to stay in my bed all day, and the garden gives me somewhere to go.”
“This place – I can’t rate it enough. It’s absolutely amazing and the garden is ace. I took photos when it was nice and sunny and posted them onto Facebook. Half of the responses said that it looked like I’m on holiday and not in a hospital!”
“People here are very friendly, and making conversation really boosts your morale.”
Winston also became involved in the garden’s Arts Programme, enjoying the many creative workshops and social events organised by the charity’s team and volunteers.
“What I like about the garden is the entertainment that they put on. Movie nights are fun and it’s nice to come outside and relax. I love the fact that there’s tea and coffee in the garden room, not to mention the sweet treats!”
“My disability will affect me in life, but whilst I’m here, it doesn’t phase me. This garden has done so much for me, and it’s opened my eyes to the opportunities available for me in life beyond the hospital.”
“I will always remember the flowers and plants, but most importantly, the people. The generosity that I’ve seen here is admirable. The people that come out here, including myself, are happy. The garden is lively and fantastic – most definitely the best I’ve ever seen.”
Winston was also generous enough to record some of his thoughts for a video, which can be found here.