A patient on Drapers ward from October 2016 to March 2017, Tarquin underwent rehabilitation in our Brain Injury Service and has since headed home.
We caught up with Tarquin to find out more about him and see how he found his time at the RHN.
I live in Tunbridge Wells with my wife Martine and our two children. We’re both teachers, and I used to teach Design and Technology myself. We make a good team – I always say that I build the house, but it’s Martine who builds the home.
I’ve been at the RHN for around five months, recovering after experiencing a pulmonary embolism. I was having an operation to remove my bowel, but an unforeseen problem – in the form of a hole in my heart – meant that some blood got into my brain.
The hospital has been fantastic – the way that sessions are tailored to specific levels of ability is the real strength of the RHN. I’ve particularly enjoyed hydrotherapy treatments, and when I return home I’m hoping to continue these at a local centre.
My time at the hospital
Given my profession, I’ve tried to help out at the hospital while I’ve been here. Lesley Mill, Head of Brain Injury Services, asked if I could help with a redesign of some patient spaces, and I’ve made a couple of recommendations. For example, TVs in patient bedrooms could be mounted to the wall – wires are really easy to trip over for someone who’s just learning to walk again!
What Martine said to me when the injury originally happened is that trying to get back on my feet was my new full-time occupation, and I’ve taken that literally. I’ve got through the hardest part but I suspect this is just the beginning. There have been a few significant milestones – eating, going to the toilet, and eventually walking – but the final triumph will be actually going home!
Looking to the future
Whenever I don’t have a session on I’m always looking for things to do, be it art classes, walking around the hospital, or grabbing the occasional coffee in the Morris Room. The future’s looking positive. I’m looking forward to going home, and one day when my children are finished with their education, I’d like to move to Devon.