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Spinal Injury

When David was 5 years old he was run over by a car which left him with brain and spinal injuries, leaving him paralysed from the neck down and requiring lifelong ventilation support and 24hr care.

He spent the first couple of years after the accident in hospital and over the next 10 years, due to no family support being available, David was placed in various care institutions and foster homes. In 2014 aged 25, David finally moved into his own home, with this being redesigned to ensure it was fit for purpose.

In 2014 Routes Healthcare was approached to take control of the care package due to it falling into crisis with another provider. The referral was to provide 24/7 complex care and to work alongside other disciplines including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, district nurses and assisted technology specialists.

David currently has a team of 10 who look after him on a 2 to 1 basis. With such intensive and close support David is intimately involved in the selection of his carers, not only keeping his complex needs in mind, but also ensuring their ability to get along with him on a personal level.

Working in partnership with its NHS colleagues at the North West Regional Specialist Spinal Injuries Centre, Routes ensure that the team of carers receive ongoing specialist training, complimented with in-house training delivered by the dedicated Routes training team. This enables our carers to safely carry out clinical treatments to care for David, including:

  • Regular tracheostomy tube changes
  • Suctioning
  • Positioning of phrenic nerve pacer coils
  • Passive physiotherapy movements to reduce limb contracture
  • Bowel and bladder management including 3 hourly intermittent catheterizations
  • Using the tracheostomy to facilitate mechanical ventilation via ambu bag when required
  • Specialist hoisting and motorized mobility equipment to enable David to access all areas of his home and the outside world
  • Ordering and administering medication, including inhaled medications given via David’s ventilator
  • circuit

As David does not have a family support network to help him make decisions, an advocate has been appointed to assist with this. Meetings are held every 2/4 weeks with David’s Care Coordinator from Routes, David’s advocate, his Solicitor and an NHS employee to ensure all decisions affecting his care are in his best interests. Since Routes took control of providing the care in 2014 David reports his life has improved ten-fold. There is good continuity in his care which makes him more settled and provides him with more independence. He reports a very good quality of life considering his diagnosis, planning his own daily activities including his favourites such as eating out, visiting coffee shops and also the odd trip to a casino!

In addition to day to day activities, David is a keen DJ and often DJ’s at local family functions, all with the aid of assisted technology – no mean feat considering he has no use of his limbs. Not content with supporting day to day activities Routes are currently working with David to help him tick an item off his bucket list: a once in a lifetime trip to Las Vegas, accompanied of course by his team of dedicated Routes carers.

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