Hope and Recovery series– Mkhitar

11 July 2019
Photo of Mkhitar, who has been a patient at the centre for 20 years now!

Now in its 21st year, the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre continues to expand the array of services that it offers to patients of all ages. Physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy are each available at the centre, which now employs 73 staff and treats over 1,000 patients a year.

Founder and Director of the Centre, Vardan Tadevosyan and his staff continue to break the stigma surrounding disability through exemplifying what can be achieved with training and commitment. The Centre has brought about transformational change to people with disabilities who would have otherwise been isolated and neglected.

This series aims to highlight the experiences of the staff and patients at the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre.

Mkhitar’s experience at the centre:

[I have been coming to the centre] twice a year since it opened. So that would be 100 days a year for the past 20 years.

I was shot in the war. It was a spinal cord injury and I have been paralysed from the waist down since I was twenty.  I was at the Red Cross Hospital in Yerevan for 7 years as an in-patient. Vardan (Founder & Director of the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre) already knew about me and my condition when he started the Centre in 1998. Initially, Vardan did home visits to me (when the Centre had no beds and almost no furniture) to help with my pressure sores. Vardan healed my pressure sores and they never came back.

My life would be far more difficult without the centre. The physical therapy for my legs and arms has proved most helpful as it has helped me to gain strength. The leg therapy is good for blood circulation and muscle joint movement.  There have been no pressure sores for the last ten years and the centre has provided a specialised mattress for my home.

I am more mobile. I wasn’t totally independent before. Some things I had already learned from the Red Cross before coming here. The thing is that I can’t sit for a long time, but I can move around my home by myself in my wheelchair. My nephew sometimes helps me, but I can manage to do most things by myself. Fortunately, my hands and brain still work. At home, I read books, I carve wood which I learned how to do at the centre. The art and ceramics room in the Centre is named after me, which is very special.

How you can help support the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre

 HART’s support is equally as crucial – as the centre’s only other source of financial. HART funds crucially cover additional staff costs and pay for day trips and summer/winter camps for patients. These outings are a critical feature of the centre’s efforts to integrate its patients into society, develop patient’s social skills and enhance their confidence and subsequent independence. Additionally, the occupational therapies offered at the Centre are only possible through HART funding.

Any amount of donation can go a long way at the rehabilitation centre. For example, a donation of £100 pounds will provide 1 spinal cord injury patient with all of their necessary medical supplies for 2 months e.g. urine bags, diapers and catheters!

If you wish to donate, Please visit the HART website and put a reference to ‘The Rehab Centre’

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