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Massage therapist changes lives

Nov 27, 2023

 

When 37-year-old South African born Toni Serrao and his partner were driving to a BBQ four months ago, little did he know that that journey would change his life. His car was hit head on by a drunk driver, who was also high on cocaine. Toni’s car was so badly damaged that Firefighters had to use the jaws of life to cut him free. He broke femurs in both his legs, broke his wrist, and suffered a stroke that left him paralysed down his left side.

He was receiving intensive rehabilitation therapy since moving to the Regional Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) at Northwick Park Hospital three months ago.

Toni said: “I’m a really determined person, so after the accident I knew I didn’t have a choice but to just get on with it. I’ve set myself certain milestones, and I can now walk short distances independently with the help of a walking aid, which is a huge achievement. It took a lot of hard work, but I got there, and I’ll keep going until I reach my ultimate goal of being totally independent.

“I’ve made lots of friends on the Unit and the staff are amazing. I’ll miss them all when I move to a less specialist rehabilitation unit this month. I’ve made great progress so don’t need the highly specialist services that Northwick park offer, so it will be a positive move in my road to recovery.

“Unfortunately my apartment isn’t accessible for me at the moment, but hopefully I’ll be in adequate temporary accommodation for Christmas.”

A highlight of Toni’s week is a visit from Shainaz Alidina, a clinical complementary therapist from the Disability Foundation. LNWH Charity funds her weekly sessions for patients to receive 30-minute massages to help with their rehabilitation. Shainaz has worked in healthcare settings for 35 years and mainly works with cancer patients.

Toni Serrao and Shainaz Alidina 1 resized for website

Shainaz Alidina, clinical complementary therapist said:

Patients undergo intense physiotherapy and massaging can help relieve the pain they feel afterwards. It also helps relax patients who are anxious, feeling stressed or who have difficulty sleeping.”

“I’ve been coming to the RRU every Wednesday afternoon since June, and I really enjoy it. I’ve built up relationships with all the patients I see, as they are here for a long time, and it’s so rewarding to know that I’ve helped in some way on their recovery journey. It’s a joint effort between myself and the rehabilitation team.”

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If you would like to know more about our work in your

community please fill in your details below:

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By hitting 'Subscribe' I consent to receiving news from LNWH Charity (including Meadow House Hospice). I understand I can unsubscribe at any time but emailing LNWH-tr.charity@nhs.net. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.