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Father of three with brain and spine injury applauded by carers as he finally returns home

A 54-year-old father-of-three has returned home, almost five years after a devastating brain and spinal injury.

Staff and carers at Priory’s Cleveland House care home in Southport formed an emotional ‘guard of honour’, applauding their service user, Alan Huxley, as he left the rehabilitation home for the last time.

Alan left the Priory residential care home, which has facilitated his recovery over the past 3.5 years, to embark on a new chapter of more independent living in a purpose-built bungalow in his home town of Speke.

He has shown remarkable improvement since he first collapsed at home almost 5 years ago, when it was feared he might never regain full cognitive function.

With the help and support of the team at Priory’s Cleveland House, which specialises in the care of adults with a physical disability, as a result of an acquired brain injury or progressive neurological condition, Alan is now fit enough to leave.

He is well-known at Priory’s Cleveland House for his love of Everton FC, where he is a season ticket holder. He has also been an increasingly frequent attender at music concerts in Liverpool during his recovery.

While he requires a wheelchair and is unable to use his limbs, he is determined to live his life to the full. He is booked to give talks as a motivational speaker, and has been invited to help a major technology firm develop a phone for disabled users.

He will be supported in the community by local authority carers, who have worked closely with the Priory Cleveland House team to get to know Alan and his support needs.

Alan says: “When I collapsed, I was at home in my flat, and was in a coma. I had abscesses down my spine which I needed surgery to remove, which left me disabled.

“When I came to Priory, I was given a physio who stabilised me. They got me sorted. It has been hard; really, really hard. But I wanted to prove to people I could make this recovery.

“My family have supported me brilliantly too. I’ve got three boys, two sisters, a brother and my dad looking after me, as well as the carers.

“There was a time when I didn’t think I’d be able to do the things I’ve done… to get out and about, to make progress with the physio, to see things in the world again, to go to the football with my boys, to go to concerts. It’s been amazing.

“I’ve got some work to do too, giving inspirational talks, helping Liverpool Airport develop their slings for disabled people who can’t walk, and helping develop a new mobile phone for people who can’t use their hands.”

“I’ve been in Cleveland House for three and a half years. Now it’s time to move on with my life. I’m apprehensive but I can’t wait. New house, new start!”

Christine Stringfellow, Director of Clinical Services, says: “We’re so happy for Alan. We’ll miss him, but we’re delighted for him. This means the world to all of us. The staff who have taken Alan to his new home have worked with him since his first admission to Priory. I did his initial pre-assessment at the spinal unit and escorted him to Cleveland House. Now I have escorted him to his own home. It’s very emotional really!”

Priory is the UK’s leading independent provider of mental health services. It treats more than 70 conditions including depression, anxiety, addictions, and eating disorders, as well as children’s mental health, across its nationwide network of sites. Its Priory Adult Care Division is also one of the leading providers of specialist residential adult care, including services such as those provided by Cleveland House which supports adults with a physical disability, as a result of an acquired brain injury (ABI) or progressive neurological condition (PNC) or mental needs, associated with conditions such as epilepsy.