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My goal is to walk completely normally


“My goal is to walk completely normally”. If you ever have the chance to meet Paul McKay, you will realise he is confident that this is an achievable goal.

On 2nd May 2015, Paul McKay (a Scottish racing driver) broke his back in an accident on the racetrack. The neurological examination showed distal paralysis of the lower limbs. His first visit to Vejlefjord Rehabilitering was in December that same year. He arrived in a wheelchair, and was able to take a few steps with crutches.

After hospitalisation he started treatment with Kenneth Collins, who also helped Tom Kristensen (the Danish racing driver) after his accident. Kenneth went to Scotland to treat McKay when he first got out of hospital, and during this period he could feel there were great improvements. He asked Kenneth if he could come to Denmark and continue the treatment, and Kenneth worked together with Vejlefjord Rehabilitering, so that Paul could see him morning and evening, whilst spending the rest of the day following a personalised rehabilitation programme at Vejlefjord. This combination seemed to work perfectly, and his first steps without any support were filmed here in Denmark. Since his first visit, he has been back twice to have his programme adjusted and updated, and to continue his training and electrical stimulation here.

Paul’s main goal has been to optimise his gait function, going from a wheelchair to crutches to one walking stick.

His treatment has included training in our warm water pool, focussing on stabilising and strengthening core, hips, knees and feet, acupuncture, and neuromuscular electrical stimulation to minimize the tonus in his calves and to maximize the nerve function in his legs. During his stays here at Vejlefjord, Paul has had 3 hours of individual training a day. We have trained at his current level of activity, whilst also looking ahead as to how he should progress.

Paul’s balance and strength has improved, so he is now able to take short walks without support. On his third visit he was able to walk outside on a more uneven surface without support.

The team at Vejlefjord has also worked with Paul on how to economise his energy levels. So instead of training for 2½ hours at the gym back in Scotland, he has been advised to train 1-1½ hours where he challenges himself with more intense training.

The combination of intensive professional training, electrical stimulation and focus on eating healthily is working well for Paul McKay. At the end of the interview, he picks up his walking stick and leaves the room, and you are reminded of his words earlier; “My goal is to walk completely normally.” There is still some way to go, but he has come a long way, and I feel sure that his persistence and personality will get him the rest of the way.

In Paul’s own words:

All the staff are a credit to the clinic. Observing the staff, it’s amazing – not only how hard they work, but that all of them have lovely characters, and make me, as a customer, feel very welcome. I also finally got the chance to meet one of the cooks, and I thanked her for the food, as it is so good.

I can’t praise the clinic highly enough. The staff should feel very proud of what they have all achieved.