I’ve been in hospital for 16 months. I was run over by a car which left me with a high level spinal cord injury, and I can only move my head and shoulders.  

I was in Leeds Hospital for four months and was then moved to the Spinal Injury Centre in Sheffield on 22nd December 2021.  My injury was quite serious, which means I need a lot of rehab so that I’ll be able to manage my own care in future.

Before I could use assistive technology, it was boring.  Last Christmas was really awful – I wasn’t able to have any visitors because of Covid and I wasn’t able to use technology.  I did have a tablet but I kept having to ask a nurse to come in to change the programme.  

Then in February I met Gaye, Aspire’s Assistive Technologist, and she’s been amazing.  Honestly, I don’t know how I would have coped without her.  Before my injury, I was into gadgets quite a lot and Gaye has shown me how to use a Switch button and Head Mouse so that I can access my phone and tablet using my voice.  I’m now able to write messages and make video calls. I listen to music and watch Netflix, movies and YouTube. It helps pass my time here.

Asif using assistive technology in hospital

I’m finally leaving hospital tomorrow (20th December 2022) on my 52nd birthday. I’m going into interim care placement and I’m looking forward to it.  It’s the next step. I’ve been in hospital a long time; I just want to get out of here.  At least this Christmas I will be able to have visitors.  My mum, sisters, brothers and friends will be coming to visit; I’ll be a lot closer to home so it will be easier for them.  I’ll probably be getting a little bit merry, it’s been a while! 

I will eventually be going home, hopefully sometime next year. It doesn’t look like my accommodation is going to be ready anytime soon, as I’m waiting for the Council to sort it out.

Aspire has been absolutely tremendous, I can’t speak highly enough of them.  They go above and beyond. They do some great work here in the hospital and Gaye has been absolutely fabulous; anything I asked her about, she’s arranged straight away and has introduced me to other aspects of technology that I’m able to use. 

I can now use my phone and tablet as if I was using my hands. I would recommend Aspire’s Assistive Technology programme to everyone in my situation.

Assistive technology

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