Stevenage stroke survivor Ted Holmes driving again thanks to Hertfordshire charity
PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:15 23 May 2019
After a 73-year-old Stevenage man suffered a stroke in November 2016, he started the long road to recovery. His one driving motivation? To get behind the wheel again.
Two-and-a-half years later, Ted Holmes is delighted to be able to drive again after some help from a Welwyn Garden City-based charity.
Hertfordshire Action on Disability offers advice and support for drivers like Ted who are returning to the road.
Ted was born in Walhamstow in 1945 and has the hard-working and gritty disposition that is typical of his generation.
He admits as much himself: "I can be a bit bloody-minded at times!"
Just ten days after suffering his stroke, which affected his left side, Ted says he was "up and about at the Lister hospital."
Next came physiotherapy at Danesbury Neurological Centre and rehabilitation at Stevenage Leisure Centre's post-stroke sessions.
Ted's rehab wasn't progressing quickly enough for him though and he was still no closer to driving.
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But in spring this year, a lifeline appeared in the form of a referral to HAD's driving centre in Welwyn Garden City.
Ted was given the chance to drive a specially adapted automatic car - A Ford C-Max complete with a Lodgeson's Lollipop that operates the car's essential functions.
His assessor at HAD was Simon Edwards, who alongside occupational therapist Sarah Wright, helped Ted regain his confidence.
Simon said: "When Ted first came to HAD he was very nervous.
"However he didn't give up and when he tried using adaptations for the first time he sensed he might be able to get back on the road."
Ted succesfully completed his follow-up assessment on 1, May and has been given the 'green light' to drive again.
Now Ted, who has been driving for more than 50 years, is looking to buy an automatic car to replace his Rover 45.
Ted said: "I can't wait to get back on the road again. I was so pleased to hear the news."
For more information about the services HAD offers call 01707 324581 or visit hadnet.org.uk