Andy Trollope, a 40 year-old paraplegic from Salisbury, Wiltshire, who was left paralysed from the chest down after a motorcycle accident in 2008, has praised the efforts of leading Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) specialist, Cyclone Technologies, in kick-starting his bid to make the GB disabled water ski team. After the accident, which happened at a British Championship Motocross round on the 27th July 2008, Andy was transferred to the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where he underwent surgery to have his spine straightened and shattered vertebrae reconstructed.
He said: “I was in the spinal unit at Stoke for four months of blood sweat and tears during my rehab and was discharged on the 28th of November 2008, a testament to the level of care and dedication of the staff that work there. I returned to my house in Salisbury and found that my friends and family had rallied round and made all the adaptations needed for me to help cope with my new life in a wheelchair.”
However, Andy was soon looking to re-introduce competitive sport into his life, as he explains…
“Very soon, I was missing the adrenalin rush that I used to get regularly from racing professional motocross. After trying all the usual disability sports out there, I booked myself on a skiing course organised by a fantastic charity for people with spinal cord injury, called the Back-Up Trust. I was hooked from the first day and I knew immediately that skiing was the sport for me. I’ve since gone on to take up water skiing, which is incredible, and I’m getting better all the time. I’m now hoping to become good enough to make it onto the GB team for either sport.”
To help him get into shape and improve his range of motion and circulation, Andy has been using FES cycling therapy systems with the help of the team at mobility solutions provider Cyclone Technologies, and company founder, Stuart Dunne.
Andy continues: “I tried the RT300 when going through rehab at Stoke Mandeville. It was perfect for what I needed. It stimulates the lower motor neurons and evokes patterned movement of the arms and legs. I could actually see my quads getting fired up again. Now, I’m more than happy to don my shorts!”
Andy acquired his own RT300 one month after leaving Stoke Mandeville and immediately incorporated it into his routine. He uses FES two to three times a week, after first standing for one hour, and works out at a gym two to three times a week. He attributes the therapy to his lack of pressure sores, improved bone density and spasm management. Andy also feels FES therapy is the best way to manage spasms, and that a work-out last thing at night gives him the “best spasm free sleep”.
Andy later began to use the RT200, the UK’s first and only ‘hybrid’ FES system, which exercises both arms and legs at the same time, giving Andy a more complete workout. He likes the flexibility of the RT200 and the fact that he can stimulate various muscle groups including erector spinae and the abdominals.
He said: “It is an amazing piece of equipment and the team at Cyclone are fantastic! Stuart watches my progress on-line and always lets me know how to get the best out of my RT200. They provide a great service.”
Stuart Dunne, founder of Cyclone Technologies, said:
“Andy is not letting his SCI stand in the way of living an active life, and enjoys a full-time occupation and continues to pursue his passion for competitive sports. He realised during his time in Stoke Mandeville that he needed his body to be as healthy as it could be in order to live as full a life as possible and incorporating FES therapy into his daily activities has helped him to achieve this. We’re delighted with the progress that Andy has made since his accident, and wish him the very best for achieving his goal of making it onto the GB disabled ski team.”
Visit http://andytrollope.com/ to follow Andy’s progress.
Cyclone Technologies is the UK’s leading Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) specialist and is the UK’s exclusive supplier of exoskeleton solution, ReWalk. Cyclone is also a leading manufacturer of bespoke wheelchairs and boasts a purpose-built training facility in Ottringham, East Yorkshire.