This is direct from Alec’s sister:
Well, it’s me – M… – back in England!
I’ll let Alec vent his recovering spleen on the insurance company that messed him around so much. Even up until lunch time yesterday, Monday, it wasn’t sure when we’d be coming home. Let’s just say we had an almighty ding dong and all of the staff at Intergroup Assurance will wince for years to come if the names Boswell or Muffett are mentioned!
The final plan was that we were due to be collected by a road ambulance from the UK at 5.30 pm French time. They arrived just before 7.30! By the time there’d been the hand over and the British doctor in the evacuation team had confirmed that he didn’t need Alec to have a drip it was about 8pm when we left (7pm in the UK). The team on the ambulance was excellent and being able to communicate in English was such a relief. We did the chunnel (not an something I’d ever entertained experiencing and not something I’d jump at the opportunity to do again) and then up to Maidstone, around the M25, M40, M42 and then in to Birmingham. NEVER have I been so pleased to see Birmingham!
He quite enjoyed the trip home. He was on a special stretcher with the most incredible springing system. All was well unless we hit a big bump that caused him to “bottom out” on the stretcher. That caused the odd sharp intake of breath. Most of the journey I spent with my arm outstretched and my hand outstretched on Alec’s abdomen suppressing the ongoing bounces so that he was stable again before we hit the next one.
He survived the journey home with three oral paracetamol. For Alec the pain of the drip (the French method of administering pain killers) almost exceeded the pain it was meant to be treating!
Anyhow, will go in with Dad later today and see how he’s getting on. We couldn’t find Internet access in the room (but it was 2.30 am) but he was pleased to see a TV and as I crawled away at nearly 3 he was having lessons on what channels he’d got!
I certainly think Alec will have a new appreciation for the simple things in life – like a cup of tea, speaking in your mother tongue, and being able to use a “real” loo! (not necessarily in that order).
Anyhow, must go off and have a REAL bath and attend to everything that’s been on hold for the last 11 days. But, before I go, I must say THANK YOU to all of Alec’s friends. The emails, texts, and messages have done wonders to boost his morale and have aided his recovery in immeasurable ways. The visits of Gilles, Joep, Peter, Krystal and multiple visits of Bart were great; not only for Alec but for me too! I feel like I’ve known them all for years. It was also comforting to know that Rachel was sorting things out on the “home front”. Alec is so very lucky to have such a great circle of friends (and such a circle of great friends).
Thanks again. I’ll update you all later.
This is from Rachel:
Alec phoned me earlier – very very cheerful. Although no internet facilities he has a TV and that will keep him amused until his ibook arrives on Thursday with some DVD’s! So Thursday is now booked – Dave Walker will do that. When I get contact details for him, I suspect you can book visits direct, but he is still tired at present!
Medically they are getting to grips with some baseline levels from which to start his rehab.
They have left the chest drain in for a little while longer, but with a monitering bag. If it has less than 100ml per day, they will take it out immediately.
They are going to Xray his back just to check for any spinal injuries (presumably before they start letting him sit up by the sounds of things) and also do a CAT scan.
He is obviously so much happier where he is, with a room to himself, a picture on the wall, a view of trees and bird-life, and people who speak in English that the euphoria will keep him going for several days I should think, and be even better once the tiredness has worn off.