Bonsai bliss and beer surprises for RHN resident

Resident Gary (78), has been at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN) since 2017 following a swimming accident which left him paralysed from the neck down. Gary has since found comfort in bonsai trees and started his own impressive collection at the hospital with the help of his family and green-fingered staff on the ward.

Gary’s passion for bonsai led him to subscribe to expert Peter Chan’s YouTube channel, resulting in a visit to the RHN by Peter himself. Peter Chan is the doyen of bonsai in the UK and well known for his record tally of 21 Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medals, a feat no other bonsai specialist has ever achieved.

Following the visit, Gary was invited to Herons Bonsai Nursery in Newchapel for the day. With the dedicated efforts of his nursing team and portering services, Gary embarked on this memorable journey, with the experience being captured in a YouTube video.

Time for a brew, or two…

Despite his condition, Gary doesn’t shy away from life’s simple pleasures. He indulges in red or white wine and beer, actively participating in a monthly beer-tasting club initiated by RHN Chaplain Geoff Coyne and Leisure and Family Services.

September’s beer-tasting theme, ‘F,’ brought Co-Owner Nick Smith from The Flower Pots Inn and Brewery, Hampshire, to Gary’s doorstep. Touched by Gary’s story, Nick drove over two hours to personally deliver a selection of their renowned brews to the RHN.






RHN’s social media platforms were a buzz thanks to Gary’s bonsai trip and visit from the brewery.

Cheers to you Gary!