Mick Gibson, age 66 was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in July 1995.
I was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire and moved to Cornwall in 1999. Before my diagnosis I was fit, active and very strong. Working in a very physical industry I undertook numerous job roles such as steel worker, concrete builder and roofing specialist.
The first sign of anything being wrong started with distorted blurred vision; this led me to seek help at the Opticians. It was at the opticians where they advised that I go to hospital for further investigation, which was where I was given an MRI scan. This led to my diagnosis of MS.
At a regular visit to St. Michael’s hospital in Hayle, Cornwall is where I first found out about the Merlin Centre, where I now regularly receive Physiotherapy, Bowen treatment, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and Massages.
The Merlin Centre has totally changed my life, from struggling to sit independently and requiring two people and equipment to transfer out of my chair. I am now able to walk independently, I have swum a mile and I have got my driving license back. This has given me my life back, as well as my independence.
By attending regular physiotherapy sessions with Mel the physiotherapist at the Merlin Centre, I am now self –sufficient and have greater confidence with doing everyday tasks. My sessions with Mel have incorporated a variety of strengthening exercises involving work on the gravity machine, the vibro machine, the treadmill, the bike and the standing balance bars to name but a few. Having enjoyed swimming throughout my childhood it was a great achievement on the 25th of July 2014 to swim a mile at the Bodmin Dragon centre. This was made possible with the help of a local swimming coach, Simon Ashton over a five week period.
Not only has the Merlin Centre given me back my confidence and independence it has also given me a safe haven to which I feel a part of and can enjoy a hot chocolate and chat amongst friends.