Aldershot News & Mail : 2020-09-09

5 : 5 : 5


5 NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2020 News Dad-of-four cyclist told he’ll never walk again Arran Sandison, who has been paralysed from the chest down after he collided with a tree at around 30mph on July 3 LISA SANDISON ARRAN LEFT PARALYSED FROM Lanzarote on holidays and did 50 miles a day cycling. “We had so much planned as the kids got older too. “That big part of our lives, being taken away, is massive. He is gutted about that, he absolutely loved cycling.” Looking at the bigger picture, Lisa said Arran is “so lucky” the accident was not worse. “I do have bad days and I get sad, obviously. But I am trying to think of it as a new life and a new start.” Looking to the future, Arran is keen to go back to work when he can and South Western Railway is hoping to redeploy him. “It is the unknown at the minute. But he loved his job, so I hope he can go back there,” Lisa added. Prior to the accident, cycling was a shared passion for Lisa and Arran. The childhood sweetheart­s met at college when she was 16, and they married four years later. She said: “Our whole life is about cycling. Every year we went to cannot afford up front. In order to make a start on the changes, Lisa and other family members have taken out emergency bank loans. They have also launched a GoFundMe page which they hope will crowd fund the costs. Lisa would like Arran to have a carbon lightweigh­t wheelchair, which can be packed into a car, and an indoor motorised wheelchair that rises up and down and keeps him as independen­t as possible. Yet they cost several thousand pounds. CHEST DOWN BY BIKE CRASH By EMMA PENGELLY Soon after arriving at St George’s, Arran was placed in an induced coma and underwent a major operation the following morning. He had pins inserted into his spine to realign it and relieve pressure on the spinal cord. He was then put on a ventilator because he couldn’t breathe properly with a broken chest. Restrictio­ns due to coronaviru­s meant Lisa and the family were unable to see Arran in person or speak to him for around two weeks. “I knew he was going to wake up in the hospital, knowing he was paralysed, with no one with him. It was horrendous,” Lisa said. Arran was brought out of the coma around two and a half weeks after the accident. On August 3, he was transferre­d to the Spinal Cord Injury Centre at the Royal National Orthopaedi­c Hospital in Stanmore where he is currently recovering. It is an hour-and-a-half trip at best from their Blackwater home, and Arran is only allowed visitors twice a week for one hour. “You have to sit two metres apart. I can’t give him a hug and children under 18 aren’t allowed,” Lisa explained. Arran is father to three boys, aged four, 10 and 14, and a daughter who is 20. He has been given a discharge date of November 2. In the next few weeks he will be adjusting to the life-changing injuries and retraining his body. In the meantime, Lisa is preparing the house for his return. Major changes need to be made as Arran will no longer be able to go upstairs. Lisa said: “We can’t get a stairlift at our house so we are having to change the front room into the bedroom, and the kids’ playroom into a wetroom. Then we are knocking our conservato­ry down and making it into a new front room. And we need to build a ramp.” The home improvemen­ts are estimated to cost £65,000 which the family @EmmaPengge­lly A FATHER-of-four from Blackwater has been paralysed from the chest down after he collided with a tree at around 30mph close to a Surrey beauty spot. Arran Sandison, a South Western Railway train driver, was involved in the accident on July 3 as he cycled downhill in White Lane, close to Newlands Corner. An avid and experience­d cyclist, Arran and three friends had travelled to Guildford to test out bike racks ahead of a cycling holiday in France. His wife, Lisa, said: “He was going downhill, somehow he lost control or hit a kerb – we don’t know what happened – he went up a bank fast, at about 30 to 35mph, and hit a tree.” There was not enough time for the clips to detach from his pedals, so the impact of the bike’s seat and handlebars caused severe injuries to his upper chest. Arran, 44, was airlifted to St George’s Hospital in Tooting where he was kept awake before Lisa arrived. He had suffered a fractured sternum, fractured multiple ribs, punctured lungs and fractured his back in multiple places. Critically, Arran’s spinal cord had been “crushed at the T4 section”, Lisa said. The family was told it meant he would be paralysed from just below the nipple, with doctors predicting he would never be able to walk again. Lisa, 42, said: “It was horrendous, I can’t even explain it. I didn’t expect it, I had taken an iPad and some pyjamas for him. From that moment I don’t remember the next two weeks. “It’s a massive blur. I don’t think I ate, I sobbed and sobbed, it was horrendous. But when he woke up I felt like I needed to be strong.” I knew he was going to wake up in the hospital, knowing he was paralysed, with no one with him. It was horrendous. Lisa Sandison EDUCATING FOR LIFE - Afternoon Open Evening Examinatio­n Open Sixth Form Entrance Wednesday 23 September 2020 - - Monday 5 October 2020 Tuesday 5 January 2021 (Deadline for Applicatio­ns - November 2020) One of the top performing boys’ schools in Hampshire T: (01252) 893000 www.salesianco­ Independen­t Catholic Grammar School for boys aged 11-18 with a Co-educationa­l Sixth Form PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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