In May 2018 I woke as normal at 6am and rose to get ready for the gym as I always used to go to the gym before work on a morning I was putting my shorts on when I felt myself falling and found myself on the floor unable to move or speak luckily my wife recognised the symptoms and rang for an ambulance my next memory was waking up in ICU surrounded by my family and with various tubes drains and monitors attached to me still unable to move it appeared that I had suffered a haemorrhoragic stroke and had undergone a craniotomy once i had been stabilised I was transferred to another hospital and placed in a stroke ward still unable to move or speak various clinicians began the process of assessment and I soon began rehab with the neuro physios who were very good but were limited by time and facilities for the amount of work they could do with me.
Progress was made but very slowly and it was decided that I would have a better chance of recovery if I transferred to a neuro rehab hospital as they had more facilities and staff I was told many positive things about the hospital and was convinced that when I went I would walk out at the end unfortunately I didn’t have as much rehab as I was expecting and after approximately 3 months I was as good as told that I wouldn’t walk again and that I had come to the end of the road there and was discharged to the community physios in my home town physio continued on weekly basis for a further 3 months until I was able to transfer from my wheelchair I was then discharged I was not prepared to give up at this point and enrolled with the gym at the local leisure centre.
Fortunately some of the instructors had undertaken ARNI training and were very sympathetic to my situation and put together a programme for me to follow it was very difficult at first but luckily I had been a regular gym goer prior to my stroke so found the routine easy to get into and thought doing something was better than nothing also I started to research stroke rehab online to see if I could find any other rehab methods which is when I stumbled across the ARNI Institute and bought the manual having read the inspirational accounts in the book I decided to try and get a trainer for myself.
When I initially contacted ARNI there were no instructors in my area but luckily they make an effort to find excellent trainers in areas where there is demand and need and I was later matched to Maria who had recently moved to the North East we met for an initial assessment and discussed my goals and began working together in 2021.
Getting involved in the ARNI rehab programme has been life changing for me and I continue to make progress we have regular weekly sessions and Maria is a hard task master and continues to challenge me in every session she also sets me home work to do between sessions and I continue to go to the gym twice a week the rewards of this have been tenfold and she has given me back the confidence to challenge myself further not only that but for someone who would never walk again I have progressed to taking several supported steps and am confident that I will definitely walk again unaided. it’s definitely the best investment I’ve ever made it is so good to have hope back in my life I cannot speak highly enough of the ARNI Institute from start to finish.
For example. Another fantastic session with Maria yesterday we’ve made so much progress it’s hard to describe I always feel so positive after our sessions boosts the confidence and makes me want to challenge myself further and gives me the confidence to push myself further in my other training regime’s after yesterday’s work out I felt like I could do more at the gym today so tried standing press ups against the bar hard work but success really feels like I’ve achieved something this week my only regret is that I didn’t find ARNI and Maria 5 years ago.
Maria says ‘Mark is really motivated; always look forward to our training sessions. The first time I showed him those pop-up men or ‘The Houses of Parliament’ as we call them, his eyes filled with fear! But, after massive doses of repetitive training, he’s able to reach forward (with minimal ‘Body English’) take them out with his index and thumb mainly and then put them back in the slots! When I’m there, we are able to ‘open’ his fingers and thumb to ‘get the gap’ allowing him to involve his middle finger also for reps. Actual release without assistance of the slots is coming along too. He’s doing this using our ARNI programme of very high numbers of reps daily. He also is starting to do the same grasp and release task using lots of different items with his ARNI task-board. He does need a way to support his arm as he trains though and I’m thinking he may do well to try a Saebo-Mas. Go Mark!