Eddie travels the world

LONDON

 

Since my stroke in 2011 I became determined to become as independent as possible, like many I and my family were told that I wouldn’t be able to do the many things I did prior to my stroke. However, as soon as I began to learn to walk, talk, use my arms and hands again I knew that my God had different ideas for me and that how I live was down to my self-determination.

My drive to independence started with me being nominated to carry the 2012 Olympic torch and the training I did with my physios showed me that nothing is impossible.

After my discharge I soon realised that the only way for me to get about was in my power chair, yes, I can walk but not far without being in severe pain or becoming fatigued so I set about planning my short term goals.

Goals.

  1. To get on a bus
  2. To get on a train
  3. To climb a mountain
  4. To fly
  5. Go back to Australia
  6. Travel on a London bus

At first these goals were very daunting to think about and I was scared of going into the unknown as a disabled person but there wasn’t a choice I had to face my fears in order to get my life back, it’s had its ups and downs I’ve learned that life with disabilities is not easy and at times very frightening and frustrating.

This page is a pictorial story of my journeys starting after I conquered my mountain ‘Mama Tor’  

Dropped and raised curbs
After disembarking from the bus which was only a few yards away from our hotel i had to cross a small road that led to know were that I couldn't couldn't cross because of the curb.
I had to go back to a set of lights about 100 yards away cross and travel back on the other side of the road passed the hotel and cross again.
Wheel chair v pushchairs
Well done London transport for making it clear that Wheel Chair users have priority.
Norwich Station
I love going to London by Rail, I’ve already said the first time you try something different and on your own can be rather daunting and it was. The first time I traveled to London on my own, the things that concerned me were - will I miss my train or connections, how will I find my hotel, will my battery run out of charge, I hope there are plenty accessible loo’s etc.?
All the worry and anxiety were unfounded, my personal experiences with travel is that Staff working in the various companies i.e. rail, buses, hotels, restaurants etc. are very helpful.
The only negative thing with rail is that you can be tied to the times that you booked your assisted travel however, there have been a couple of occasions that I’ve been too early for a particular train and the station staff helped with re booking my train to an earlier time.
First class Norwich to London
I've traveled often on trains, you don't always go first class but its nice if you do especially when you have an economy ticket.
Greenwich Observatory
Me straddling the Royal observatory meridian line. The Observatory is up a very steep hill so beware its a hell of a push for manual chairs and very draining for power chairs or scooters.
I found a socket by the nuclear clock to charge my battery.
Its a worthwhile visit though.

http://www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory/meridian-line-and-historic-observatory
London Busses
03.10.16 One of my goals was to travel on a London bus, yippee I did it, I was a little apprehensive especially about getting off at the wrong stop. However, the buses in London have an announcement system that tells you the next bus stop and places of interest too for us it was Covent Garden.
Horse Gard
London Central is very accessible for both solo and accompanied travelers, I always carry my charger just in case i use to much power, restaurants when you have lunch or churches are happy for you to plug in.

London Dockland
This area of London is great, especially London Dockland Railway where you can ride on and off at all stations without assistance, however, the nearest inner city station is Bank. The under ground is not accessible.
Tower Bridge
You can walk ride for miles on either side of the Themes, there's lots of restaurants and cafes on the way.
Cutty Sark
Fully accessible elevators to All decks. Its a must go and visit.
Beneath the hull
One of the inside deck, wonderful to see and they have high lighted the fire damaged parts its an amazing peace of renovation.

AUSTRALIA

During my time in hospital (8 months) I thought that I would never be able to visit my daughter and 4 grandchildren in Australia again or even worse I would never see them again. Like many stroke survivors it didn’t take a lot to lower your mood, my daughter and children came to see me thinking I was going to die, on the day that my daughter Sarah and her children came to say goodbye I was suffering with the NORO virus so the grand children were not allowed in the ward.

Sarah was allowed in to see me for a few minutes only, even today I am really upset trying to write this but, I must face the memory and document it. Sarah came into my room, sat by bed then she rested her head on the bed and lifted my arm so that my hand was resting on her head, this simple act broke my heart and still does when I think about it, I believe she was thinking the same as me, after she said goodbye and left my room I broke down and silently howled (remember I had no voice)  my heart was Broken, then my grandchildren appeared at my room window waving goodbye again I broke down completely, poor bairns had to leavewithe the memoryof their Grandpa crying.

Three or four months later I was transferred to Rehab where my physio Matt started to work on getting movement in my limbs, after a month in rehab my recovery was swift, Matt had me standing and taking very small steps. One day I asked Matt “if when well enough will there be anything that will stop me going back to Australia” Matt replied “Give Yourself a year then there should be nothing to stop you” Well that was the moment I told everyone that I plan to go to see my daughter and grandchildren in Australia,

18 months later Jeannie and I boarded a Plane bound for Perth WA, I’ve been back five times and we plan to go again soon.  

Flying with your own chair

Are you a wheel chair user and anxious about flying? March 2017 Jeannie and I flew to Australia for six weeks, when we traveled before I traveled with my manual chair then hired a scooter or chair for our visit.
This time I decided to take my own power chair, firstly we talked to various air lines and asked each one "Will your company carry power chairs' each one said definitely yes all they would need are the dimensions.
Once we had chosen who would carry us (shop around for the best deal we do all the booking ourselves) we gave them the info they needed, it's important that you have dry cell batteries any thing else you have to take the batteries out of the machine.
There is no charge for power chairs etc.
As usual we booked assisted travel on arrival at the check in desk We always get to the airport 4 hrs early it's amazing how fast time travels at airports, I asked if I could take my power chair all the way to the gate, no problem with that but asked us to be at the gate early. My chair was booked in all the way to Oz as there wasn't enough time in Hong Kong.
On our arrival to Oz my chair was waiting by the baggage carousel, dead easy.
On the way back I had to put my chair in with our luggage, this is not a problem as they give a manual chair at the desk, again the chair was waiting for me at Heathrow.
As well as saving loads of money to hire a vehicle then being scared of damaging it I was stress free using my own chair which is very reliable.

Arriving at Cathay Pacific' check in Desk
Checking in our luggage and chair.
Checking in our luggage and chair, I was allowed to take it right to the gate then it was booked right through to Perth.
Oyster for breakfast
Enjoying my oyster and a couple of glasses of Chablis.
Independent travel on Trans Perth transportation system
Using local public transport system is very accessible and simple, you can pay cash or as i did purchased an oyster style card that you top up when needed. the system allows you to use trains,buses and some ferries. The video shows me boarding the train to Perth which is about 40k from Baldivis, however, I do believe that other long distance rail travel is similar to the UK where you have to book and use a ramp. Buses have electronic ramps and plenty of space for more that two wheel chair and a pushchair or two.

Life as a stroke survivor can be Fun.

More to come

Queen Elizabeth Quay
Perth
ANZAC remembrance day with my Grand children, I had to borrow a manual chair as my daughters car was full of children.
Rockingham beach WA
I had a little trouble with balance as the sand moved under my feet but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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Linda Peters | Reply 04.07.2017 21.39

The upper cheer is really beneficial for many people with disabilities.This wheel chair is helpful for all Disabled man.Nice post.
.http://onedaytop.com/travel/

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Latest comments

17.11 | 19:33

This is the first time reading a blog loved it my stroke was 2 years ago with 4 boys under 13 it's hard but you have given me anew outlook on my new life

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31.10 | 17:26

Hi,
My first trip off the ward, what you cant see is the Trach nurses with their emergency equipment, gladly .http://onedaytop.com/

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19.10 | 19:09

I was placed in isolation. My first memory was seeing my daughter and nephew .
Thank you........

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07.10 | 20:30

This post can be encouraged by many people for stock patients because this post will more steps for more serious patients....http://onedaytop.com/

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