A Mayo man living in London involved in a horrific accident last year has vowed he will walk, despite doctors saying the chances of it happening are slim.
Paul Mayock, 47, a self-employed builder originally from Bofeenaun Lahardane and living in Kingsbury, North London, last September fell off his ladder at his home. His injuries were so severe that surgeons at St Marys Hospital, Paddington performed emergency surgery to rebuild his vertebrae.
Paul’s sister, Angela Carroll, said: “He basically had a severed spine, so they had to put titanium rods in to rebuild his vertebrae. They had shattered, and bits had gone into his spinal cord, which is what severed it.”
Almost a year on from the accident Angela has released a single, Far To Go, with the help of a musician friend Michael Cahill, which she wrote about seeing her brother get stronger day by day, never losing his innate positivity:
“It expressed my emotions as I watched everything he had gone through, from the time of the accident until now. I saw him progress slightly every day; some days he’d be good, some days he’d be weak and trembling, but he always bounced back. It was a very emotional time for us.”
Angela added: “Paul and his two amazing children, John, 12, and Aine, 10, gave me the inspiration for this song, as did the fact that Paul really wanted to give something back. Proceeds of the single will go to the Barbara Bus Fund, at Stanmore Hospital, which we used several times to take Paul out for the day.”
Paul was transferred from St Mary’s Hospital Paddington to Stanmore Hospital, and it was thanks to the bus service, the Barbara Bus Fund, run totally on donations, that Angela was able to take her brother out for the very first time since the accident, on Saint Patrick’s Day.
She said: “Paul really wanted to give a donation to them. Not knowing what would be suitable, Angela along with Paul’s two children, thought about putting a song together, the proceeds of which would go to the charity. It’s one way of giving back, and something Paul really wanted to do. We’re very pleased how the song has turned out.”
The journey for Paul has been a difficult one. After his initial major surgery, he was transferred to Stanmore Orthopaedic Hospital, where he was diagnosed with MRSA and had to spend several months confined to bed in isolation, as well as having to undergo further major surgery to have the rods removed and longer ones inserted as the screws in the original ones became undone. It was during this time that doctors told him he would never walk again.
The day after Paul had his accident, he was meant to be going toIrelandfor his godfather’s funeral, which he obviously was unable to attend. And a month later, he discovered the terrible news that his mother Bridie had terminal cancer. She died this January, unable to travel to England to see her son.
Angela said: “The incredible thing is that throughout all of Paul’s misfortune he has remained so positive. He is determined to prove the experts wrong. He doesn’t care how badly he walks but is determined he will, despite been told that is unlikely.”
Paul is currently attempting to reduce the amount of medication he is on, and test his pain threshold, said Angela. Since he first came home from hospital in April, he has had round-the-clock care, from family members to visits from a carer and nurse every day. Paul is hoping to get a car adapted, which would mean he could pick up his children from school and drive them around.
Angela said: “His home is being adapted slowly for him, but it will take time. Paul has a bed that rotates. He can’t go upstairs, so we need to make all the changes that will allow him to get around independently, access the garden and other parts of the house.”
She added: “My brother is just a wonderful person, a real family man – he lives for his family. His two children are incredible too, they keep him going. He’s also a very popular guy outside of the family. It doesn’t matter if you’re a homeless person or a VIP, everybody’s important to him. That comes through when you speak to staff at the hospital that got to know Paul in the past year. His recovery is a slow process, but we’re all behind him.”
The single Far To Go can be downloaded for 69p on Amazon and iTunes and is soon to be available in hard copy from Amazon CD on Demand.