Donegal's Alan to make it up the aisle after accident

Wedding plans still in place despite serious injury

By Staff Reporter

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By Staff Reporter

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editoial@donegaldemocrat.com

Donegal's Alan to make it up the  aisle after accident

Alan Patterson and fiancée Hilary Bradshaw.

A Donegal man paralysed by a freak accident is going ahead with his wedding next month after refusing to postpone his big day, despite still being confined to hospital.
Alan Patterson was paralysed ten months ago after an accident on a trampoline. The hockey player, who played with Instonians in Belfast, dislocated his spine and was in intensive care for weeks.
The Killygordon man has been in hospital since and a series of fundraising events have been held for him in Donegal and in Northern Ireland.
The 27-year-old is getting married to his fiancée Hilary Bradshaw in Armagh on June 10th but Alan is determined to get himself out of the Belfast hospital he is in after his wedding and in an unusual step Alan has advertised for three personal assistants who he can hire privately to help him live his life to the full. Alan has regained some movements in his arms as he prepares for his big day in Co. Armagh and he is determined to achieve more movement across his body.
Describing his ordeal to Belfast Live, he said: “It was terrifying. I was lying there totally conscious but unable to move any part of my body. I needed other people to do everything for me and I kept flying into a panic thinking this was what the rest of my life was going to be like.”


“I tried so hard to move but my body just wouldn’t respond. It was the most frightening experience of my life. But as soon as I could start breathing on my own with just an oxygen mask to help me, I started to feel that at least there was one improvement and that led onto others.
“It’s been nearly 10 months since the accident and I think progress has been slow. But I’m working at it every day and getting stronger and stronger. When I was first in hospital I never dreamed I’d get this far but now I plan to keep on going.”
Alan is now looking for three personal assistants to help him move on in his life and move out of hospital into his new home with Hilary.
“I’ve been ready to go home for weeks but I need help and without that help I cannot go home. So I’m stuck in hospital taking up a bed someone else desperately needs. It was there when I needed it and I feel bad that I’m still here, taking up space someone else needs.
“So Hilary and I have placed an ad in the jobcentre for a number of people who I can hire to help me.
“Ideally I’m looking for about three fellas who will help me get out of bed in the mornings, help me get sorted out for the day and then go with me to the gym to help me train and work to regain more movement.
“They will be properly trained by the South Eastern health team in all the aspects I’m going to need, but for me they need to be a bit of craic and interested in sports and getting out and about.
“I’m going to spend a lot of time with these people and I hope they’ll become friends who’ll help me live the best life I can.
Hilary said the personal assistants will be expected to work with Alan in their new home in Lisburn, Co Antrim , which should be complete by July.
She said: “We have access to funds to pay for the work and we have been told by the South Eastern Health Trust that training and vetting will be pushed through as a priority because they know how important this is to aid Alan’s recovery. They also know he is bed blocking because he can to go home apart from at weekends.
“He is doing everything in his power to get out of hospital but he cannot do it without help.”

It was hard to cope but I had no choice. I tried so hard to move but my body just wouldn’t respond. It was the most frightening experience of my life. But as soon as I could start breathing on my own with just an oxygen mask to help me, I started to feel that at least there was one improvement and that led onto others.

“It’s been nearly 10 months since the accident and I think progress has been slow. But I’m working at it every day and getting stronger and stronger. When I was first in hospital I never dreamed I’d get this far but now I plan to keep on going.”
Alan is now looking for three personal assistants to help him move on in his life and move out of hospital into his new home with Hilary.
“I’ve been ready to go home for weeks but I need help and without that help I cannot go home. So I’m stuck in hospital taking up a bed someone else desperately needs. It was there when I needed it and I feel bad that I’m still here, taking up space someone else needs.
“So Hilary and I have placed an ad in the jobcentre for a number of people who I can hire to help me.
“Ideally I’m looking for about three fellas who will help me get out of bed in the mornings, help me get sorted out for the day and then go with me to the gym to help me train and work to regain more movement.
“They will be properly trained by the South Eastern health team in all the aspects I’m going to need, but for me they need to be a bit of craic and interested in sports and getting out and about.
“I’m going to spend a lot of time with these people and I hope they’ll become friends who’ll help me live the best life I can.
Hilary said the personal assistants will be expected to work with Alan in their new home in Lisburn, Co Antrim , which should be complete by July. “We have access to funds to pay for the work and we have been told by the South Eastern Health Trust that training and vetting will be pushed through as a priority because they know how important this is to aid Alan’s recovery,” she said. They also know he is bed blocking because he can to go home apart from at weekends..”
“He is doing everything in his power to get out of hospital but he cannot do it without help.”