Broad Street

Lucy Aliband - progress report
Tuesday, 15th September, 2009

Wrington Website
All Saints' Church

[Lucy is the niece of David and Mary Aliband of Orchard Close. Over four years ago she was in an horrific car crash in South Africa. She was included as someone to pray for in the weekly All Saints' pew sheet, still carried on this website.
This report has just come from her parents John and Carol, and is included here for the information of those who continue to pray for her - Ed

Lucy does continue to make progress, although very slowly - which is what you would expect after 4 years or so. 

She works very hard indeed at physiotherapy, and goes to the local gym with her carer at least twice a week, where she works out on various fitness machines. 

She is therefore gaining in strength and stamina, although the damage to her brain means that she still gets very tired. 

Basically, it was explained to us that her brain is having to work very hard to do the routine things that you and I take for granted.
There are three main problem areas which are not really improving -

1) Her eyesight. She has double vision (on the diagonal, which cannot be cured by an operation), and oscillopsia, which means that her sight wobbles as she looks to one side. She therefore has great difficulties in reading books or the computer screen.

2) Her voice. The vocal cords do not open more than 1 - 2 mm (the norm is about 8 mm.) She therefore has to work hard to enunciate clearly, and when she gets tired later in the day her vo ice becomes quite difficult to understand. It's worse on the telephone, and basically means that she could not do any sort of job where communication is required because strangers have problems in
understanding her. The restricted gap between her vocal corda also causes another problem -

3) Her breathing. She has a job to get enough oxygen to meet the body's requirements when she exercises, and from time to time gets dizzy as a result. An operation would be possible to open up the gap, but then she would lose the ability to talk properly.

I have left out the problem of her balance, because this is one area where she does continue to show improvement. She is extremely stubborn, and refused to use a wheelchair once she had a wheeled walker, and now insists on using her sticks rathar than the walker. 

She is however always in danger of falling, because the brain is not aware that she is losing her balance until it's too late to take corrective action.

She is looking really good by now, though. After the accident her face was paralysed on one side, which gave her a lop-sided look. She has worked hard at her facial exercises, and you can see the result in the attached photo, which was taken in June this year.

The claim for damages against the Road Accident Fund in South Africa is still not resolved, and the court hearing has been postponed again until next year. The damages claim is very high, because as I said to David, her cost of living is much higher than normal - she won't be able to work again at the same sort of level, she can't cook her own meals or look after her own flat, so she needs about 27 hours of care a week, and she can't use public transport without having a carer with her. 

Even a simple evening out visiting friends therefore entails an expense of about £40 for taxis there and back. She still gets a lot of back pain, which is not really explained but presumably nervous in origin, so she can't get going in the mornings until the paracetamol or ibuprofen have taken effect.

We appreciate her being on the Wrington prayer list; maybe that has helped with her progress. She could certainly be a lot worse than she is - although as someone who was always very active and sporting life is very frustrating at times.