"In September 2007, I received an alarming call from my stepmother, Nicola (founder of Solo Support Services) informing me of a horrific accident my dad had been involved in and asking mys...
"In September 2007, I received an alarming call from my stepmother, Nicola (founder of Solo Support Services) informing me of a horrific accident my dad had been involved in and asking myself and my sister to meet her at the Intensive Care Unit as soon as possible. This was the day that changed our lives.
We were told to prepare for the worst and say our last words, it was unbearable. My dad was still alive but had very serious hyperthermia. After 10 long hours of hyperthermia recovery, we found out that his spinal chord had been shattered at C3/C4 and has left him completely paralysed from the neck down and that he was unable to breath alone or speak. This was such an awful time for my step mum, Nicola, my 2 younger sisters and myself, and more importantly my dad who had had his independence taken from him. After a long recovery process of learning to breath and speak again, and having to come to terms with this new way of life, my stepmother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer during this time. Neither of them being able to be there for one another was such an awful time, but we all pulled it through and we coped with what was thrown at us, at least we all still had each other.
We received some very unhelpful "help" with regards to the care of my dad (Stephen Kirk) and Nicola was inspired by this to fight for a Personal Health Budget to personalise my dads care, to get staff who he felt comfortable around and equipment which would help him to be independent and live his life to the fullest. It was then that Nicola created and started to build Solo Support Services, a company to help others just like ourselves make the most of their lives and keep their independence and 'normal' lives.
Our lives changed as we could now do things together again as a family; picnics in the park, family holidays to Cornwall, meals out for birthdays. Unfortunately, in 2014 Nicola lost her battle with cancer and we all lost her from our lives, she fought so hard throughout her cancer for my dad and our family and we will forever be grateful. She will always live on in our hearts and through Solo Support Services."
- Written by Stephen Kirk (Director) and daughter Gabriella