23 December 2016

Graham from Rossendale joined Up and Active after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome - a rare and serious condition of the peripheral nervous system, when the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system.

Graham spent 2 months in hospital whilst specialists investigated his worsening health.  Graham was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, and begun his rehabilitation.  When Graham was discharged, he continued the rehabilitation with an occupational therapist from Burnley General at home.  He had lost a quarter of his body weight, was very weak and unable to complete everyday tasks.

Towards the end of his rehabilitation with his Occupational therapist, Graham was advised to get an exercise referral form for the ‘Up and Active’ programme.  Graham felt that this was the next obvious step and made an appointment with his surgery.

Graham contacted the ‘Up and Active’ team with his referral and was booked onto a supervised gym session at Marl Pits Leisure Centre.

Graham started in July 2016 and has attended this session every week.  Graham has also been attending the gym on two other occasions during the week, starting slowly but with the aim of exercising more regularly. 

Since completing his 12 week programme, Graham has continued attending the gym and keeps in touch with the ‘Up and Active’ instructors.  Graham also recently attended his first Body Pump - group exercise session since becoming ill, a class he used to attend regularly.

When Graham was referred onto the programme his main goals were to improve his strength, mobility and fitness, areas that had been seriously affected from his illness.  Graham also wanted to regain the weight he had lost.  

When starting the programme, Graham weighed 53kg and had a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 16.3, now after his 12 week programme he weighs 63kg and has increased his BMI to 19.2, which is now within healthy range again.

Graham has the movement back in his face and is now able to run and jump again, things that were at one point an impossibility.

Graham feels he is almost back to his normal self, he is currently completing a slow return to work, returning to full time in the new year and able again to drop off and pick up his children from school.  

Graham feels the ‘Up and Active’ scheme offered great support in helping him achieve his goals of increasing his strength, mobility and regaining lost weight.  He comments that he has managed to regain over half of the weight lost, and is pleased that it is down to increased muscle mass, his family have commented on a general return to a healthy appearance. 

Graham was happy with Marl Pits as a venue and felt the support from Richard, his instructor, was excellent.

"I have managed to regain over half of the weight I lost and am on my way back to my target weight.  The support from the tutor was excellent and the venue ideal.  The programme could be just as beneficial for others needing help and support to improve their health and fitness. "