Colin Ure was cycling down a hill when his back wheel locked leading him to lose control and plough head on into an oncoming 4x4.
The 48-year-old was left with complete paralysis of his left arm and underwent an eight hour operation during which surgeons detached and reattached his pectoralis major and minor muscles to investigate the nerves in his left arm.
The injury left the father of one unable to carry out simple tasks and anxious as to whether he’d ever get the feeling back in his arm again.
Colin said: “I crashed into the 4x4, hitting the windscreen and flew over the top of it.
“I was very lucky to get away with just my arm as a serious injury. Apart from that it was just bumps and scrapes.
“I had no moving in my arm at all. I had an operation but I had no idea how long the recovery would take.
He was in a sorry state when he arrived for his first session with physiotherapist Catherine Nelson at Bathgate Community Health in October 2015.
But her patience and willingness to go the extra mile has helped determined Colin make a recovery described as “incredible” by medical professionals.
He said: “It was clear from the outset that Catherine did not just see the injury but the person behind the injury.
“Showing great care and compassion she immediately made me feel at ease with her friendly, positive ‘can do’ attitude, taking time to listen to me as a patient. My ability to keep going was so much down to her amazing focus, determination and unwavering support.
Following 18 months of physio, the business systems analysts has managed to achieve the unthinkable. He has regained 85 per cent of movement in his arm which has enabled him to get back in the saddle again. For her outstanding efforts, Colin has nominated Catherine for this year’s Health Hero Award as part of NHS Lothian’s Celebrating Success Awards.
The Bathgate man added: “Without Catherine’s dedication, exceptional knowledge and skill I would not have made anything like the recovery I have. Her wiliness to ‘go the extra mile’ every single session over such a long time made a huge difference. She has helped me to get back cycling again, something I never expected I’d be able to do. I can live a normal life again and I am eternally grateful for everything she has done.”
Catherine, 48, who has been a physiotherapist since 1991, said: “I am totally shocked. It was a nasty injury Colin sustained, he couldn’t move or feel his arm. At first we had no idea when how the nerves would regenerate and what movement he would get back.
“We worked together as a team and his recovery has been incredible. He was brilliant and really determined which really helped me to do my job.
“Seeing people such as Colin make a recovery like he has is an incredibly rewarding part of being a physiotherapist.”
You still have time to put forward for the Health Hero Award someone who has gone above and beyond their duty by going online to https://news.nhslothian.scot/CelebratingSuccess/Pages/default.aspx. The deadline for nominations is March 29 ahead of the awards ceremony on June 20.