RAF veteran, 85, makes ‘remarkable recovery’ following brain injury

Royal Air Force veteran Herbert Martin from Littleport has made a “remarkable recovery”

Royal Air Force veteran Herbert Martin from Littleport has made a “remarkable recovery” at Askham Rehab following a brain injury. - Credit: Askham Rehab

An 85-year-old Royal Air Force veteran says the support from his son has aided his “remarkable recovery” following a serious brain injury.  

Herbert Martin from Littleport had a fall in October last year, leaving him in a critical condition with fears he’d never live independently ever again.  

Mr Martin, a veteran of 12 years which included deployments to Cyprus, Australia, Pakistan and Singapor, was admitted to Askham Rehab in Doddington.  

Herbert couldn’t thank Askham’s staff enough for their support during his rehab

Herbert couldn’t thank Askham’s staff enough for their support during his rehab. - Credit: Askham Rehab

He arrived on New Year’s Eve last year after he suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage that caused a bleed between his brain and skull. 

Sara Neaves, clinical lead and outpatients service manager at Askham Rehab, said: “When Herbert first came to us, he was incredibly weak.  

“This made any initial progress extremely challenging.” 

Herbert made use of Askham Rehab’s state-of-the-art robotic suite

Herbert made use of Askham Rehab’s state-of-the-art robotic suite. - Credit: Askham Rehab

Mr Martin said: “I have a lovely relationship with my son, Paul. Every night we talk to each other without fail and he has been looking after my bungalow during my rehabilitation.   

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“The Askham Rehab team have been excellent. Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and I can’t thank them enough.”  

Sara added: “Herbert’s main goal is to get back home.  

Herbert suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage that caused a bleed between his brain and skull

Herbert suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage that caused a bleed between his brain and skull. - Credit: Askham Rehab

“To facilitate this, our occupational therapy team completed a home assessment where they have been making adaptations to enable him to be as fully independent as possible.  

“Today, he can now mobilise completely independently with a rollator. 

“It was only a few months ago we feared informing his son that he wouldn’t be able to return home, so to see Herbert nearing a point where he can live a completely independent and happy life is nothing short of amazing. 

Herbert suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage that caused a bleed between his brain and skull.

Herbert suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage that caused a bleed between his brain and skull. - Credit: Askham Rehab

“His remarkable progress is also due to the wonderful relationship he has with his son.   

“The bond they have is really special and has been monumental in Herbert overcoming so many testing hurdles.   

The severity of Herbert’s brain injury left him extremely fatigued and resulted in muscle weakness

The severity of Herbert’s brain injury left him extremely fatigued and resulted in muscle weakness that restricted his mobility. - Credit: Askham Rehab

“It’s enabled him to maintain motivation to progress whilst allowing us to establish an effective working relationship with his family, which has allowed us to facilitate Herbert as coherently and effectively as possible.” 

Aliyyah-Begum Nasser, director at Askham, said: “Our ethos is all about maintaining a person-centred approach.   

85-year-old Herbert Martin, from Littleport, came to Askham Rehab after sustaining a brain injury following a fall

85-year-old Herbert Martin, from Littleport, came to Askham Rehab after sustaining a brain injury following a fall. - Credit: Askham Rehab

“We put the patient at the core of our practices and empower them with the tools to oversee their journey with us their own way.   

“We’re delighted Herbert has reached a stage where he can almost return home and live independently.”  

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