A lorry driver from Storrington who was left disabled and suffering post traumatic stress after being crushed by a HGV lorry is taking part in a gruelling challenge to raise funds for fellow sufferers of the disorder.
Terry Bedford, 51, has severe nerve damage with no feeling down most of his right side. He also suffers severe anxiety as a result of post traumatic stress following the accident in July 2015. It changed his life and that of his wife Angela forever.
As a long distance Artic HGV driver, Terry used to work away from home Monday to Friday every week.
“Now, I’m at home 24/7 and Angela has to juggle a full time job with running the home and being my carer,” he said.
Life for Angela has also been extremely difficult since the accident. In addition to the stress and fatigue of being responsible for Terry’s care and all that it entails with numerous hospital visits, GP appointments etc, Angela has to cope with the fallout of PTSD, which includes anger and frustration.
“I’m constantly walking on eggshells never knowing what I’m going to walk into when I get home from a long and stressful day at work. Is everything going to be ok or am I going to walk into an explosion of fear and frustration, not helped by long nights with barely any sleep when Terry has his PTSD nightmares.
“The constant battle with PTSD and depression is even worse than the physical injuries. Terry can’t drive on his own anymore, because he can’t cope with being in a car behind a lorry, so every part of our life has had to be reorganised, and it changes daily in accordance with how Terry is feeling,” she says.
Terry’s accident has damaged them both further than could be imagined, not helped with Terry feeling that he has lost his identity and is no longer the person he once was.
Last December, following advice from his physiotherapist, Terry embarked on an exercise referral scheme at Impulse Leisure’s Chanctonbury centre to aid his rehabilitation.
Working with fitness instructor Chris Allen two to three times a week to strengthen his muscles, the sessions have helped enormously says Terry.
“It’s given me a new focus in life and a reason to leave the house. It’s also helped me to get fitter as much as my physical disabilities and PTSD will allow.”
As a result of his experience, Terry is now preparing for a 36 hour treadmill walk to raise money for the Terry Bedford Foundation Trust and Impulse Leisure, the charity which runs leisure facilities in West Sussex. He will be accompanied by his wife Angela throughout.
The physically demanding walk will be split into three 12 hour sessions, strictly managed in accordance with Terry’s medical advice.
“I want to raise awareness of PTSD and how this terrible condition takes over your life. I want to help others who are suffering in the same way but who don’t have the support of family and professionals to help them,” says Terry, who has created the foundation trust charity in his name with his wife to provide free counselling and therapy for sufferers of PTSD and depression.
“When he was referred to us, Terry was unable to walk on a treadmill, he was in excruciating pain and his PTSD was affecting him daily. Following the 12-week scheme, Terry’s mobility massively improved sevenfold, his pain levels reduced and his mind also improved,” says his fitness instructor Chris Allen.
“This man is a true inspiration to everyone that he comes into contact with. His determination and bravery are second to none. The fact that Terry wants to give something back to those helping his rehabilitation, to raise awareness of PTSD and help others who are going through the same sort of battles, shows just what an incredible man he is.”
Terry’s walk will take place from Wednesday 5 October to Friday 7 October at Impulse Leisure’s Southwick, Lancing and Chanctonbury Storrington centres. Members of the public and members of the gyms can join Terry and Angela on the treadmill throughout the day.
A raffle draw will be taking place on Friday 7th October at Chanctonbury, Storrington and donations can be made on each day of the challenge or via Terry’s crowd funding page:
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