UCLH’s NHNN features in an ‘unmissable and uplifting’ documentary 

31/01/2018 00:00 
A moving documentary about a UCLH patient’s remarkable recovery from a catastrophic stroke is being broadcast on BBC Two on Monday (5 February).

Horizon follows the story of Richard Gray, a former army colonel and United Nations peacekeeper, as he painstakingly learns to move, walk and talk again.

Recorded by his award-winning filmmaker wife Fiona over four years, My amazing brain: Richard’s war provides an intimate account of the hard work of recovery.

Described as “unmissable and uplifting telly” by The Times, the documentary features the upper limb neurorehabilitation service at UCLH’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN).

Consultant neurologist Professor Nick Ward, occupational therapist Caroline O’Neill and other colleagues in the clinic can be seen supporting Richard to regain his mobility and independence.

Professor Ward said: “Our upper limb neurorehabilitation programme provides high quality, individualised care to patients who have suffered a stroke.

“The emphasis is on getting people to use their affected arm and hand again in their daily routines.

“Our work shows that intense physical therapy can make a meaningful difference to patients’ lives, even those who have been told that further recovery was not possible.”

Richard’s wife, Fiona said: “The care Richard received at the upper limb clinic was transformational.

“I am so grateful to the team at the clinic for supporting Richard to live his life again in a meaningful way.”

Following his brain haemorrhage, Richard was bed-bound, cognitively impaired and unable to speak: the outlook was very bleak.

Always armed with her camera, Fiona captures the moment Richard moves his fingers for the first time, and then over the following months and years, she documents his rehabilitation.

The story also features poignant flashback footage, in which we see and hear Richard at his professional best, immersed in the brutal war in Sarajevo, Bosnia. 

The documentary will air at 9pm on BBC Two on 5 February 2018 and will also be available on iPlayer.

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