Marine James Cobby (Putney)


Marine James Cobby

A young lad critically injured June 2011 in a fall
from the Tarzan Course at CTCRM
(scroll down for all updates in date order)

I first visited James on 29th Jan` 2012

He is still in a bad way and is still bedridden with little prospect of recovery at this stage.  He was in a coma for yonks and is of course very weak …

“We have to remember that James was injured last year (mid 2011) and has been close to being in a ‘permanently vegetative state’ during all this time”. James is becoming more forgotten and is now confined in a ward, in a hospital, on the other side of London from his parents who visit him every day.

Many thanx for the above info/update from Alan Nicholson RM Rtd via Rod Spinks RM Rtd

Foxnwolf comments;

I called the hospital concerned and spoke to James mother who was by his bedside. Mother and Father (Ian) alternate visits for hours, 7 days a week. You may have received an email with James contact details and tel #. By all means send cards etc to James but hold off on the phone calls. Either Janet or Ian have to take the call because James in his current state is unable to. So, we dont wish to add any further stress to the parents at this stage.

A visit by me personally to James is being organised for this week thru his parents and I will post an up to date “Sit-Rep” of James current situation and also what is being done for him, plus what else could be done for him.

Please send a “keep your pecker up” card by 1st class post to;

(no flowers due to hospital H&S issues)

James Cobby RM
Draper Ward
Royal Hospital For Neuro Disabilities
West Hill, Putney
London, England
SW15 3SW

Further updates as and when I get them……. Then we can all takes things from there, one step at a time…….

1st Feb` 2012

I visited James and his loving family today at around 16:45hrs at the RNHB… It was heartbreaking and also made me feel so miniscule and helpless. An experience I shall never forget. A devoted family around James of which his mother Janet gives Physio for hours every day and Ian his father an ex matelot uses the more “get a grip approach” in a way that only family could. Support from other members of the family are totally unconditional and James does react in small ways by a twitch of his eyes or a slight movement of his fingers which shows improvement however slight.

Its going to be a long, long road to recovery but his age and his determination will get him and his family there. I aim to visit James once or twice a week for a few hours on a regular basis whilst my business allows. I hope to take “Looey” my Shitzu along on some visits to try and boost James reaction and touch/feel reactions.

Please send James a card of sorts. Knowing that friends are around him will help his recovery. And, that is to get his brain and circuit/pathways working again. I hope to meet (along the way) some of his friends from “Hunter” company and the warrant officer tasked with his well being. I will update you further as time goes by…….

James has full support of RM and is still on the payroll, as soon as he can lift a spoon and get out and about on a pair of sticks it`ll be off to Headley Court where surrounded by oppos and again, the best of care. He will then improve ten fold. Meanwhile this hospital is the best place for him…….  (RM29918)

2nd Feb` 2012

Popped along at 14:00hrs and left at 16:30hrs. Lots of interaction although in a small way. His mum and sister turned up as usual and kept up the daily physio of massaging his legs and arms etc. I just talked my head off and watched for responses of which there were two particular ones… (long blink with both eyes) or (straightening little finger of left hand) either of which shows approval or means yes. In James case, any improvement no matter how small is good for him……. (RM29918)

4th Feb` 2012

Showed my face for a couple of hours again in the afternoon and brought a surprise along


This dog is better than a bottle of Valium (in my case anyway), better than laying on top of a water tower next to a motorway somewhere. He is Loyal, Obedient and very loving. All you could want in a dog. Anyways am digressing a tad. Held Looey up to James field of vision and he certainly opened his eyes… (probably wondered) “what the **ck is that eyeballing me”. Rested James hand on Looeys head for a few minutes. Gave him a RM Mug and Coaster and told him that I want to see him using that sometime soon.

8th Feb` 2012

Popped around today and said Hi to James. His mum Janet arrived a few minutes later and resumed James Physio. Two cards have arrived (and I thank those Rtd RM`s and their families for sending those). A return address would be good guys so that a “Thanx” can be sent sometime in the future (please put return addresses on your cards/envelopes). James had his I.T. therapy just as I left today. This checks his visual targets with what is being shown onscreen and he is able to acknowledge what he is able to see or understand. A long way to go but positive outcomes every time.

I found out that his mum Janet is a Marathon runner and has already completed her 190th Marathon, my God… I can see where James gets his determination from. If any of you do Marathons look out for the name of “Janet Cobby” as she definitely deserves a medal (and under 4 hrs most of the time). No, Janet is not a professional (its a hobby!?!?).

Come on folks, get the cards rolling in for his birthday (20th). Whether their late it does not matter. Scroll up for the full postal address…

This family makes you feel kind of… Humble and inadequate…

15th Feb` 2012

James was just in his chair sitting outside his room when I arrived this afternoon as staff were just finishing cleaning his room. I wheeled him in to his corner of the room and flicked on the TV for him. I think James is a fan of “Lady GaGa”… as all else paled in to insignificence when she came up on the Music Channel, typical bootneck. That tells me that something is clicking behind those bright eyes of his…….

By the way THANK YOU… to you folks who sent Birthday Cards and a BIG THANK YOU to John Farlie RM Rtd who visited James on his Birthday and also to two serving 40cdo who also turned up on the day. RM David Mitchell and one other (slip me your name as it was mislaid, sorry oppo)…

Also, the Birthday Cards were really welcome (those of you who left Tel #`s or return addresses hopefully may get a surprise from James one day)

Bob Carr RM Rtd
Dougie Jackson RM Rtd
John Kehoe RM Rtd (Carole & Family)
Michael Chaplin RM Rtd (Lowestoft RMA)
Steve N RM Rtd
And not forgetting the Staff & Members of the RMA

Quick reminder of James current location; (Consider a return address on your envelope or inside of card).

Please send a “keep your pecker up” card by 1st class post to; (no flowers due to hospital H&S issues)

James Cobby (Royal Marines)
Cliveden Ward
Royal Hospital For Neuro Disabilities
West Hill, Putney
London, England
SW15 3SW

22nd Feb` 2012

This concerns an email I received today. This is my reply;

I would like to add that The Corp “RM” (and its subsidiaries) including The Royal Neurological Hospital in Putney are supporting James and his family, FULLY in every way possible. The concern from Alan Nicholson RM Rtd and others were that not enough “messages/updates” on ground the level were getting out keeping the rest of us informed of James progress etc.

I wish to thank Alan for bringing James to my attention and because of this I visit James at least once a week of which you see the “sitreps” on this website. Cards and Pressies keep turning up (loads of thanx from James and his family). The Corp also purchased an iPad for James so that his parents can interact with him and improve his responses.

As far as I am concerned, Alan has no reason whatsoever to apologize or explain his comments concerning James to anyone. Its thru the efforts of diligent RM`s like Alan that certain issues pertaining to the Corp, we are all kept abreast of our family and friends who fall foul of illness or on hard times and I commend them for doing so. Therefore I have edited the initial information from Alan (at the top of this page). This for the few (i hope) that cant read between the lines and only see what they want to.

I hope that a few more of you can put yourself out and visit James and his family at the hospital, send cards and do something positive rather than complain or bitch about some elses opinion that one of our own may have fallen by the wayside. If I can, inbetween running my company, having 5 malignant tumors removed, my nephew dying in the US last year only 2 weeks after visiting me here in the UK and finally, my brother who was in a coma in Miami and had his life support turned off last Thursday by his son. We all have personal issues and excuses why we cant do something but thats all they are, excuses…….

Finally, the comment re James updates and medical information being posted (i gather that includes my sites). Having spoken with James family at the beginning when I first visited them at the hospital they are very happy that I give “basic” updates on my “visits” and keep everyone posted. So, you can take it that anything I post here or on my other website ( concerning James is up to the minute and Kosher. I cant speak for any other webmasters/websites at all. Other sites can of course place links directly to mine.

So, lets “Get a Grip” and let others in the Corp who may be less fortunate than ourselves know that they are not alone. If you have any complaints (not that I care) about me, my comments etc then email me… Your support would be welcome though…

As you may or may not be aware, I do support the Corp and all it stands for…….

1st March 2012

Spent 3 hrs today with James alongside his mum and dad (Janet & Ian). James had quite an intense day today with his Physio and other challenges which are having a very positive effect on him. Because of other issues that I had I was unable to visit James for the past2 weeks and therefore having seen him yesterday and what he has acheived in such a short time is wonderful news (especially for his parents).

Simple requests concerning Word Recognition written and displayed in front of James has him acknowledging commands. There is still a long way to go but he is a determined young man.

More Thanx from James and his parents re “Get Well” cards etc

Alan Nicholson RM Rtd
Rod “Terry” Spinks RM Rtd (also thanx for the “Green Beret” Plaque)
Mike Mortimor RM Rtd
Gordon Fellows Army Rtd

9th March 2012

Visited James and his family again today for 3 hours it was going to be only a 2 hour visit but a most welcome surprise entered the ward at 15:00hrs. I quickly whisked off my baseball cap (old habits never die especially when God appears in front of you). Good job I had a #4 haircut earlier in the morning. I thought of dropping to my knees or clicking my heels together or even standing to attention.

I had to keep my diginity so, a strong handshake and a “Good afternoon Sir” was all thats was required when I was confronted by Major General Ed Davis OBE Commandant General Royal Marines and Commander Amphibious Forces CGRM/CAF. I was waiting for 40cdo to come thru the windows or be lining the corridors but no, as casual and unassuming as any of us could be but, as well as exuding authority as a person of his stature would there is also a deeply caring person who is concerned about his “Marines”.

“Ed” is one of those RM`s that you immediately feel comfortable with and I reckon he feels at home just by being at home. I didnt get his autograph and no I didnt invite him out for a run ashore, if I met him again in different circumstances I definately would, Run ashore I mean (not the autograph). Must remember to get his name stencilled on the back of the captains chair if I am that lucky.

I flittered in to the background as the welfare visit continued with James and his parents. Around 16:00hrs I made my escape and apologies to everyone, aiming for Tesco to do the weekend “beverage” shop and a couple of cans of “MRM” that they call Chicken for my pooch, Looey…….

With regards to cards, there were a few more but ran out of time to log the names etc so I will update these here on my next visit.

No, I have not washed my hands yet……. I am awaiting confirmation of access thru the Pearly Gates in Bootneck Heaven when the time comes before I do……. Just had a pull of my shirt cuff (Steve Newlands wants to know if he is guaranteed a place at the “Gates” as well)…….

14th March 2012

Another few hours this afternoon with James and his mother Janet. It seemed to go rather quickly today after his routine of exercises. Janet then covered him with a blanket and on with his 40cdo baseball cap and we took him out in to the fresh Putney air with the sun blazing but still quite chilly. Had a refreshing walk around the hospital grounds / gardens. James obviously at leisure being pushed in his new wheel chair.  Quickly checked if any new cards had arrived. The extra cards that were out had been older ones which were removed at the request of the hospital but, later put back out again. Keep them coming guys & gals…….

22nd Mar` 2012

James looked wide awake this afternoon when I paid my visit. His mum and sister on hand helping him with his exercises. A little improvement every time. A long haul is expected but every step is a positive one. App` James ate a small pot of yoghurt prior to me arriving, that is definitely a plus seeing as since the accident happened he has and still is being fed via tube.

Yet again, Thanx from James and his family as more cards have arrived

John Glaze Lt Col` RM Rtd
Bob Carr RM Rtd

These mean a lot to James and his family, seeing the support from all sides, keep them coming.

29th Apr` 2012


Last posting was 22nd March, Locknload went offline and I have only just managed to kick it off again. Learning new programming skills.

James is doing Great, loads of improvement every time. I have still visited James at least once a week on a Wednesday around 1300hrs. Sometime try and squeeze an extra visit in if I can. Watch this space now as we are back to regular postings.

2nd May 2012

Visted James today around 1315hrs and he had a healthy glow about him. sitting in his chair with his head unsupported. Neck muscles slowly getting stronger. He still needs the head support when he is tired though. Still practicing the finger/thumb dexterity excercises that I bestowed on him last week when his parents had to have a meeting with James hospital team.

As all you guys know whether your walking wounded or not its the little improvements that count and make a huge difference. Around ten spoonfuls of mashed up Lunch via his mouth and drinking his favorite juice thru a straw (had you seen him a couple of months ago you would not think this possible). Major medicines and nourishment still via a tube.

His smiles, turning his head and eyes tracking you as he watches you is a huge improvement. James mum, dad and his sister relentless on their daily visits obviously has a very positive effect on James.

Must go thru the stack of cards and check for any new ones, will thank you here when sorted. Till next time…

11th May 2012

I was greeted with a great big smile as usual. James is slowly eating more now by spoon via his mouth rather than all thru a tube. Completely liquidized and mashed but just as good. Exercises now getting more intense in all areas.

James is so positive in doing simple repetitive movements again and again. His effort like that of his mum and dad is unquestionable and tireless.

Another step, another day like all those in similar circumstances…

18th May 2012

Must apologize for the late posting/updates no excuses really. I do have a company to run which if your interested is ““… Yeah, I am not a “Dumb Ass Rtd (that’s retired not retarded) Bootneck” with time to spare on my hands. As I am sure most of you probably thought.

James was on form today.As every Friday his mum Janet and sister Jessica in situ (caring & sharing) as always. Lots of Physio etc quite a few times a day plus all other psychological and fitness type tests etc.

A long way James has traveled since last year, when there was just hope and no other positive gains. He is a very determined young man and I hope I can offer support to him and his family for as long as is required…

25th May 2012

What a scorcher of a a day. Must have been 25c to 30c today and even felt hotter in the gardens of the hospital grounds. After one of James many  Physio sessions his sister Jessica wheeled James down to the hospital grounds/garden were James “Wolfed” down a Vanilla Magnum ice cream in around 5 bites. It is wonderful watching someone relish a simple task such as this, something most of us take for granted.

Unless you have seen James improve since 29th January this year it is quite impossible to imagine how he was. If you are in a position to assist someone like James or their family please Do It… It really, really helps. Even though it may intrude in your current lifestyle Do It. Just count yourself Lucky that you are in a position to actually help someone else. Lots of our Oppos in the past whether its 5 years ago or like me 40 years ago were not so lucky.

So, make it a mission to help some squaddie and/or their family (unit irrelevant) get back on his or her feet. I find it a great way to” chillax”  as my daughter would say.

Next Monday (4th May) till Friday (1st May) James is off to Addenbrookes in Cambridge for Neurological tests. Last October (2011) the results were practically “zero”. This time all the bells and whistles will be sounding off for him due to the changes that have kicked off since then.

Big surprise for him next Friday ( 1st June)… Hopefully, he will arrive back in Putney around 1200hrs/1300hrs and if he is not too tired (Janet will keep me briefed on that day).

A few of us hope to pay James a Surprise visit. Cant mention any names yet, but will update after the visit…

1st June 2012

James had a surprise today as Steve Newland, Steve Searle, myself and Looey my pooch all popped our heads around the corner. He had just finished Lunch, his attentive waitress was his sister Jessica. James had just arrived back from Addenbrookes in Cambridge and seemingly all tests went well (as we know he has improved a lot) but no actual results for 3 or 5 weeks.

James mum and dad (Janet & Ian) took turns staying with him at Addenbrookes so he had familiar faces with him and all important in that situation, family.

I imagine a very large improvement from last time. James no doubt was pushed around from pillar to post whilst there and the endless tests were no doubt daunting for him.

We had a couple of packages that were safely tucked away in his locker on being a Plaque from Rod Spinks which is a Stunner plus two T shirts and a Polo Shirt from the three of us. Big smiles and thumbs up from James.

Nice long walk round the hospital grounds and gardens and then we all sat down with the usual munchies etc not forgetting James usual ice cream which he devours every time.

Lots of reaction between the two “Steve’s” and James with quite a lot of banter going on. At one point when Steve Searle made a comment to James… James give him a “Middle Finger” salute (left hand) to which we all fell about laughing including Jessica. It would have made a perfect picture.

It just shows that he is improving and that his vision, thought process and humor are all intact. Fantastic day had by all…

7th June 2012

Another good day with James. Janet, Jessica and his Nan in situ as well. On my arrival he was feeding himself with his left hand although slightly unsteady at times his mum Janet at hand to assist.

Big smile as always when he noticed me and he always offers his “handshake”, that’s a closed fist with thumb extended. He was given a “Gadget” today to assist him which is a little control with a huge button on it to attract attention when he needs something. Jessica recorded her voice/command on it then I volunteered and we asked James to pick one, guess who won? I recorded my voice on it and James pressed it a couple of times to test it and smiled every time (might discreetly change message on my next visit).

We all played a new board game with James. This gets his thinking cap on and improves his hand grip and dexterity. Weather dodgy outside so no walk today.

Still a few weeks to go before we get results back from Addenbrookes visit.

I hope you guys are reading this and don’t mind me keeping those of you who are interested up to date. I know there are many RM`s just like James whether injured in training or serving overseas, young and older boot necks. If we personally just did our bit (no matter how small) for each and every one. I know we have our own busy lives to lead but hey, we are a “Family”…

13th June 2012

Managed to arrive just a few minutes after James finished his Lunch. Usual smile and thumbs up tells me he is in good form. Exercises have taken their toll as he looks tired but cheerful as always. James realizes that they are for the greater good and never complains at all.

Walk around the gardens as weather was OK. Looey my Shitzu had crashed out in my car so I left him their this time (he looses all track of time when he sleeps). Usual round of simple but effective exercises by Janet always gets a good response and improves every time.

New exercises coming up for James in the near future like learning how to chew his scran etc. All the things we take for granted in our day to day lives. No ice cream today but will make sure he has one next time I see him hopefully on the 20th…

21st June 2012

Arrived today while James was having his “Physio”. This has been increased now to get him more flexible and obviously fitter. Looked tired as the nurse wheeled him out of the “gym”. He managed a wry smile and the usual thumbs up.

Must make a point of arriving earlier so I can see him for longer as his “workload” has upped a few pegs. Father and daughter in situ so we took James out for some fresh air around the hospital grounds.

Brought Looey out of my car as he always enjoys a yomp on his lead and the attention. James looking fitter and more aware every time I visit. A way to go yet but he will make it back on to his own two feet…

29th June 2012

Fought my way thru the extra traffic due to Wimbledon fortnight as I have planned to  arrive earlier than usual (1200hrs instead of 1300hrs) due to James Physio/Exercise regimes which have been stepped up.

Wolfed down his food with a bit of help from his Mum loading his spoon for him. Had his medication and was hauled off to do some cycling to strengthen his legs (laying on his back with his feet in the stirrups and off he goes, slow but sure)

His Dad turned also arrived and with typical ex Matelot humor (loud and proud) gets a few smiles from James, family on scene and time for me to go. Its always worth the couple of hours I spend there with James…

6th July 2012

Arrived on the button at 1200hrs today ahead of James mum and sister. Big smile from James as he spotted me walking up the corridor. Arrived just in time for his scran.

A dish of pureed food and being Friday… yup you guessed correctly fish, peas and mash. Loaded up his spoon for him and off he went (great progress as months ago James only way of food intake was via a tube) then washed down with Orange Juice from a beaker and finally followed up by demolishing a small tub of his favorite ice cream.

Hopefully soon the tube which is now used for administering all James Medicinal requirements can be removed. Once his swallowing technique and throat muscle improve a little more…

13th July 2012

Arrived at Draper Ward today, yes James has been transferred to another ward as he is improving in so many ways (his address has been corrected, scroll up to the beginning).

Much brighter and inviting than his other ward. More proactive as most of the other patients are not in such a vegetative state which can be demoralizing, sometimes. I in no way wish to be rude or condescending but obviously if you are able to move forward mentally and physically it does help being surrounded by others who are also improving.

I must mention the staff who are all totally committed in what they do, no matter which ward they are working in. As I would find it very difficult indeed having to work in such an environment.

The rest of the family turned up shortly afterwards as always. James was fed, watered and walked around the grounds by his Mum Janet and sister Jesse. I had to slide as my time was up and had to get back to the office…

20th July 2012

James in top form today 9already fed and watered when I arrived), I met them in a recreational area when I arrived and James settled down to a “spelling” session (letters on a magnetic board). No problems there, all smiles and 20/20 for his spelling.

He had his “Hydro” session that morning and all went well as usual. As I mentioned previously his Physio etc is being stepped up to keep him at his limits and to keep to a level of improvement every time.

Weather was warm and bright for a change so a walk around the grounds was in order. Surprising how heavy those wheel chairs are on an incline. Still, I cant complain as I would rather be pushing one than having to sit in one like James has to.

Whatever happens during the week, visiting James is always a reality check and shows that the rest of us don’t have anything to moan about. Also the level of commitment by his family is always astounding…

27th July 2012

Another excellent day with James and his family. He looked a tad knackered seeing as he had just finished his Hydrotherapy session. Just in time to see him stuffing food down his neck.

Doing well on a personal spelling test with magnetic numbers/letters on a small board. Smiles at the slightest comment you thought he didn’t hear shows that he can hear OK and spots most things.

out in the garden again for ice creams and to take in the fresh air whilst his mum Janet massages his legs. Then time to get James back upstairs for another therapy session…

1st August 2012

Turned up today with Steve Searle in tow as he was staying over at my drum for a few days as he had a break from work. Steve Newland is also staying over and is here for around 7 days although he has to work for all those days (yes he works for a living).

So, Searle and I fed James seeing as when we arrived scran was getting served up.  James certainly has a great appetite. Wonder what was going thru his mind as he was waited on hand and foot by two old hands.  Ice cream and juice went down just as quick then his mum arrived.

More smiles and thumbs up all round from James…

8th August 2012

Arrived at 12oohrs today just as James was being wheeled downstairs for his Physio. Timely excuse for another Large Coffee. Mum Janet arrived a few minutes later so we trotted on back to the ward to be ready to feed James on his return.

Food troughed down like their was no tomorrow then off to a side-room to try his new “Hand” out. A spring loaded robotic type glove. This is placed on James right hand which as of up to now has been imobile. But, the slightest effort to open or close is helped and he was picking up balls and dropping them in to a box no problem at all.

I hope the corp will fund one of these especially for James over the next month or so. Its a great improvement and will get his hand motivated again. Wonderful seeing at first hand this technology actually working.

A walk around the grounds seeing as the sun was shining and the fresh air does us all good. 1530hrs beckons and I must leave as my dog is no doubt sitting cross legged at home awaiting his release for a long earned whizz…

15th / 17th August 2012

Unable to see James this week on Wednesday or Friday due to plumbing problems at home. Finally all fixed Late afternoon on Friday 17th.

So will catch up next week…

23rd & 24th August 2012

Thought that some catch up was due on my part seeing as I dipped out of visiting all together last week. I visited James on Thursday & Friday this week.

Ward was sweltering like a hotel kitchen on the Thursday, Friday slightly cooler thank god. So everyone was a tad lethargic including the visitors. James exercise regime has stepped up a tad as previously mentioned, always trying to push him that little bit further. Which is what he needs all the time.

Playing games and getting him recognize items and them pick them up when asked. He actually picked up a a cushion and threw it at his sister Jessica. That must be a plus.

His appetite is still really good especially ice cream and is taking fluids orally as well.

Hope to get there next week again, as usual…

31th August 2012

Arrived in time for lunch and as always greeted with a wicked smile. No sooner had the food arrived Janet and his sister Jessica arrived. Troughed down his grub, ice cream plus choc` pud followed by juice. Then off to I.T. class.

Short break then off for Hydro therapy. James regime is stepping up as I mentioned previously therefore “playtime” is less frequent now. All for the better for him.

Will see James again next week. Not sure which day but will keep you posted as always…

7th September 2012

Janet beat me this time as James was already fed and watered. Straight in to Physio (with a smile on his face) which entailed loads of leg exercises. No walks around the grounds today as a I.T. appointment had been organized.

James did really well. By watching commands/pictures on a screen and clicking a button as the appropriate command was highlighted on the screen James could make a request or ask a basic question or to facilitate a need.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future he can have one of these by his bed and on his wheel chair.

14th September 2012

Again, fed and finished as I arrived. off to a rest area inside where James played cards with Janet and Ian kept him amused and distracted at the same time (typical father).

Legs massaged and some arm exercises then a short rest. Meeting was made for James parents to attend so I sat with James and kept him amused and massaged his hands and wrists.

A push round the main hospital corridors which had James looking at everything happening around him and everyone saying hello to him. He is obviously well known.

Back to the ward main area and parked him up in full view of the wide screen TV that they have there. Told James that his parents will be back in in around 30 to 40 minutes. Hi five and the usual smile before I left…

22nd September 2012

Just to let you know that there will be no more updates from me re James for at least a month.

Here is the reason;

10th November 2012

Trying to get back in to the swing of things and seeing as my pooch Looey is starting to learn how to walk again plus my daughter is home this weekend I decided to catch up with James.

Managed to get there an hour late but hey, I made it. Big smile off James am glad he still recognized me. His mum and nan were on scene as well.

James all neatly shaved and a cracking hair cut (corp style) had just finished scran and about to receive his meds. He had his computer session a few moments later and is working his way round a computer tablet rigged on his chair and a button mouse for scrolling thru his library of txt so he can converse with whoever is with him including hospital staff re his wants and needs.

Will see him again next week and will keep you posted as usual…

17th November 2012

Arrived 30 minutes late, spotted Janet his mum sitting by a single room. James was at Physio, 5 minutes later along he comes (smiling as always) and even more so as now he has his own room. Great Stuff. On the Main Corridor in his ward so plenty of people and interaction about.

Saw some video of James interacting with computer aided equipment playing that old favorite “ping pong” game. His eye is on the ball and reactions are good, this should get some “pathways” kicking in over time.

Had his Lunch as usual and demolished a tub of HaagenDazs ice cream then off to the computer room for his IT training. His dad and grandma also on scene so Family in full support as always…

23rd November 2012

James in great form today and getting to grips with new IT technology which will be of great benefit to him. Settled in to his new room OK with all his familiar things around him.

His mum Janet always here tending to his needs. His father and sister also make regular visits and this care and continuity obviously has a positive reaction where James is concerned…

27th November 2012

Had to rush my dog Looey to the QMHA in Hatfield again as he collapsed on the kitchen floor at around 2230hrs on the 24th (Saturday) after coming in from his late night piddle. Arrived with him just before midnight where he was examined and sedated/fluids etc for the rest of the night.

Looey had another MRI then operated on on the morning of the 25th (Sunday) Further operation on another prolapsed disc.

Collected him on the 27th (Tuesday) and got caught on the M25 a trip that should take an hour took 5hrs 30 mins……. Thank god he was still drugged up and only woke up twice looked at me then crashed out again. App` some trucker crashed at speed into the concrete bridge support in-between J16 AND J17 sad in itself as he died but the consequences for London traffic wise was dire.

So, my life again has ended up giving my pooch 24/7 care for the next 6 to 8 weeks as he is only on his feet for his “Ablutions” otherwise. Thats 2 major operations he has to recover from.

Visits to James are now on hold again until the New Year…

11th JANUARY 2013

Arrived a tad late but in time for James lunch. His mum and Nan on scene as devoted as ever. As usual a big smile and thumbs up when he spotted me. James off to computer classes where his mum accompanied him and his nan and I settle down for a chat in the lounge.

James is lined up for an operation on Monday the 14th at Kingston Hospital so he will go in there on the 13th and back out on the 15th. Hope all goes well.

(Had a txt from James mum on evening of the14th, app` the operation went well and James recovered OK). Tried to see him as usual on the 18th but got waylaid all day at my accountants. Will update again when I next see him…

23rd January 2013

Great day was had by all as a surprise visitor came along with me to see James today.  Remember Keir Hardie? (

Keir has his own archives on an old “Foxnwolf” mission (apologize re the old layout. Will try and tart it up if I can as its a few years old now. Took him 30 years to get a British Passport. Some old Butch Immigration Officer at an airport North of the Border didn’t help his cause at the time but I suppose it speeded things up a tad (

Keir came down to my home for a week and very enjoyable it was.  And he was all up for accompanying me to see James on my weekly visit. James had just finished lunch and we caught him and his mum in his grot about to get wheeled away to his art class.

James operation went well and his feet were as straight as a die. Plaster still on and should be off shortly, will let you know when they both come off. He was in fine fettle and smiling away and really pleased to see us both.

Steve Newland was also down for the week but sadly couldn’t see James this time as his working hours this time were 0400hrs to 1700hr.

Catch up on James again soon…

22nd February 2013

James in fine fettle as you know from previous update he had his Achilles Tendons cut/adjusted so as to straighten out his lower legs a tad . Perfick now, plaster is off and some temporary splints organized for now to keep them on the straight and narrow.

James had a visitor earlier in the week our very own CGRM Ed Davis. General Ed always keeps in touch with James as he does with many other RM`s and the visit always makes James day without a doubt.

Thanks to all who sent in cards for James 21st birthday, anyone out there who forgot can still send them in.

Still doing his art and computer classes and smiling all the time…

1st March 2013

Again arrived in time to see James having lunch.

Shown pics of General Ed with James but sorry, cant post them yet. Otherwise I will be “interviewed”  and would also probably not have the protection of the Geneva Convention.

Janet is going to have a week off in a few days time for a well earned rest and hopefully get some sun. The RMR from South London are hopefully going to pay James a visit on Tuesday 5th March.

Family and friends are also attending while Janet is away to make sure that James has all that he needs.

Any Bootnecks serving or retired who would like to visit James is more than welcome. Visitors are always part of the recovery process. Just drop me a emailEmail Macthen we can gets the days/dates organized.

Catch up again next week…

8th March 2013

Arrived a little early today at around 1230hrs in time to feed James as Janet is having a well earned break for a week.  Babs also winged her way in a few minutes afterwards.

Looking happy a he always does and polished off all of his food. No training marked up on the main board for him today. So, off we wandered to a lounge area and practiced card/picture recognition for 30 minutes.

A bored and tired look soon swept across his face so it was time to get his DVD player. Already a “Keith Lemon”  disc in the slot so good to go. I had to leave at 1430hrs but Babs stayed on till evening meal…

14th & 15th March 2013

Managed to squeeze in a couple of visits this week around lunch time as usual. James had quite a lot of Physio on both dates alongside his I.T. sessions which are coming on remarkably well. His response times are always improving and are at times quite staggering.

Basically at this time the mind is willing but the flesh is weak as the old saying goes. Lots of activity going on now to improve James Motor Neuron skills and to kick start the electrical pathways. James recovery since he came out of a coma is astonishing, a long way to go yet. But his age,  personality and relentlessness (and his tight knit family group) will all play a very big part on his road to recovery.

Till next time…

22nd March 2013

Again James in fine fettle. Stacks of Physio & I.T. to keep him on top of the game. As previously mentioned the operation on his Achilles Tendons have worked out well and the position of James legs/feet are looking normal.

Still eating like there is no tomorrow and his liquid intake via his mouth is on the up and up. Still taking meds via a tube but hopefully that may change sometime this year…

27th & 29th March 2013

Arrived a tad later (27th) than usual but his mum Janet was on hand to feed James his scran etc. As usual I.T. and Physio still at the top of the list.

Also came on Friday (29th) bearing Easter cards and chocolates for James (no doubt Janet will offer some help there). No extra curricular activity today as it is Easter weekend and even some of the staff need time off. No complaints from James on that score…

30th March 2013

Thought I would surprise James and his mum only to find that I had the dates mixed up. James was picked up and taken to his Nephews home in Fleet for the day. Vehicle kindly arranged by James hospital and driven by his Grandad accompanied by Janet. James returned later around 1800hrs.

Txt from Janet in the evening that James enjoyed his day with family and different surroundings…

3rd April 2013

Just arrived back after making James smile. His appetite as always is a healthy sign. Scran still liquidized so it does not look too appetizing but hey, I am sure we have all eaten worse in our time.

Hand and leg exercises supervised by Janet whilst James was drinking around 200ml of orange smoothy. Liquid intake by mouth is increasing slow but sure. Hopefully to a point this year when as I mentioned earlier when he can take his Meds orally (another hurtle crossed).

On Saturday on his day out Janet filmed James blowing out a candle on a nephews birthday cake. Tried it again twice today with a “T-light”, perfect job – well done. Every effort no doubt taken for granted by the rest of us is a momentous achievement for James.

Watch this space…

5th April 2013

Another good day for James. Reactions during I.T. session improving slowly but surely and a hard Fizz session with stretching exercises thoroughly tired him out. Sense of humor never waning and always willing to participate.

Fluid intake by mouth is steadily increasing which will benefit him greatly in the near future concerning his current way of taking his meds intravenously, directly by tube in to his stomach.

Hope to pop in next Friday as usual…

19th April 2013

Arrived in time to see James finishing his scran. Then wheeled him off for his I.T. session then his Physio session.

Score of 89% on his I.T. and getting better every time. His mum Janet didn’t manage to turn to today as she had to get up to Excel and pick up her documentation for the London Marathon. Needless to say around 275 Marathons later and she completed this one in 3hrs 45mins… So, auto qual`d to enter the London Jog for the next 2 years.

Val his nan turned up so that was good for James. He will be home for a few hours on the 21st (tomorrow) and the family will no doubt make him welcome

Till next time…

26th APRIL 2013

Arrived a tad late today due to the VAT man (another story). James and his mum under a watchful eye of his Grandma are in the Hospital Gardens soaking up the sun whilst James goes thru some rigorous leg exercises.

James is off to Twickenham Rugby stadium tomorrow (27th) to see a game. His Grandad passed his H&S course to drive hospital transport so its a great opportunity for James to get out and about.

Left him with a DVD of “Argo” so that should chill him out later on…

24th May 2013

Finally made it today. Already scoffing his scran when I arrived around 1230hrs helped by Janet, but James just about managing to get his scoff to his mouth on his own.

I.T. straight afterwards and his co-ordination improves every-time. Except when he is playing a Car Game, should be a Hummer as he just plows thru everything. Huge smile on his face when he does it so good for him.

Physio session next, and doing well with turning himself on to his sides and doing leg ups/knee bends and head ups (his version of sit ups)… trying to get his core muscles and any muscle memory receptors to kick in. Tries hard as always.

Janet is off to Durban on the Wed of next week to do a 56KM run in South Africa…

the valley of a thousand hills

Good Luck Janet from us All…….

1st May 2013

Today’s visit to James was supported by Keir Hardie & Steve Searle (Steve Newland was working in North London till late, so couldn’t make it this time. But they all stayed for the weekend at my Abode.

Anyway, I digress. James in fine fettle with his Dad Ian on site. His mum Janet did complete the little jog in South Africa.

Ian took James thru a few exercises prior to scoffing scran. Afterwards the Lads disappeared with Ian to look at his Motor Bike whilst I steered James towards his I.T. session. Good scores all round with all of the games apart from the one where he drives (i mean Pilots a car). Still trying to chase the chopper thats circling overhead but hey, always another day…

2nd August 2013

At last, managed to get round and catch up on James. Apologies all round, those of you who are in the know are aware of my own medical issues and hasten to add that I am on the mend.

35c in the gardens of the hospital and Jame was already half way round the grounds when I caught up with him. Took over the “wheel” from his mum and his nan was also visiting. Looking cool in a pair of shades and my camo baseball cap kept the sun off his head.

James is in fine fettle. Smiles, thumbs up and obviously happy his family are with him.

Further news about to be posted here about James shortly when I have the go ahead to do so from Janet. So, watch this space folks as its going to be a big step forward for James and his family…

9th August 2013

Final few days at Putney Hospital

As of Monday 12th James will be residing in Peterborough at a Specialized Neurological care home. Funded by the Corp and where the treatment concerning James kicks in at full flow.

i Arrived today at Putney (my final visit here) and greeted with smiles and thumbs up as always. A big change now brewing for James and his whole family as he only has a couple of days to do here in Putney. Visiting times will now have to be cut back for all concerned due to distances involved. But, James will have a full timetable to get his core muscles back in shape. 

Janet and family will see James at least once a week plus I hope to get to see him at least once a month and anyone else out there who can pop along. I will find out whether you should contact the hospital or email Janet directly so that visits can be spread as we are not allowed to turn up all at once, easy to organize and I dont see a problem with that at all.

His mum Janet says “James seems to have settled in well. Lovely environment and a young enthusiastic team of staff”.

I will post his full address, links and a pic or two in the next week or so.  Postcards much appreciated and can then be sent directly to James. Also details of who to get in touch with for those of you who would be able to visit him even if just for an hour or so…

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