Ladies & Gents,
I haven't compiled an update for some time now. Improvements in my brother are very gradual and are therefore best reported over longer periods so that progress can be better gauged.
Whilst the onset of Stu's physical deterioration in Thailand was very apparent and rapid his improvement since arriving in England is equally noticeable. There will be no quick fix for Stu, the injury to his brain is extensive and therefore the improvements we have seen are slight but encouragingly regular.
Recently there have been a number of developments which will improve Stu's chances of recovery, namely; the removal of the tracheostomy tube which was causing visible stress and discomfort and preventing his ability to swallow, the removal of the nasal feed tube which again was causing visible discomfort and finally the terrible bedsore on Stu's back caused by the inadequate medical care received in Thailand is now greatly improved.
From being close to death in Thailand I have seen some noticeable improvements in my brother. He now seems to be aware of movement and only in the last few weeks he has begun to track people across his room. Stu has shown movement in all four of his limbs, particularly in his arms and hands where he has surprised a number of people by gripping there hands forcefully. Stu has also recently shown the ability to swallow, cough, yawn and move his head.
Stu still requires a lengthy, expert assessment in order to gauge the extent of his brain injury and also the best treatment for that injury. This assessment is carried out in only a handful of hospitals in the country and therefore places are scarce. We are currently waiting for a place to become available for Stu where this assessment can be performed and which is close to family members.
While my brother continues to show improvement I will continue to provide the best possible support in order to facilitate his long road to recovery.
Ladies & Gents,
The 75 days of fund raising for my brother which started on 13 October is now officially over.
We have raised £120 676 smashing the £100 000 target and allowing Stu to return back to the UK much sooner than expected.
In addition to this, donations from regimental associations, other organisations and individuals in Thailand has elevated the total to an amount in excess of £160 000.
There remains a sum in excess of £40 000 in the fund which will be used for Stu's needs in the future. There are now 5 directors appointed to ensure that the money that you have donated is used in the way it was intended. This also gives an element of transparency which I'm sure you will agree is essential to safeguard such a large amount.
This site will remain open and I will continue to post updates on Stu's progress so please continue to follow and support us.
I have run out of superlatives to describe what you have achieved for my brother and also how grateful I am. Therefore in closing I will say only this, I have seen some remarkable things since Stu had his accident but the most remarkable is your selfless sacrifice.
Thank you, this has been a humbling experience.
Ladies & Gents,
I went to see Stu yesterday and he is still very much the same, still fighting and still very much with us. I will keep you all updated regularly as to Stu’s progress by this means so please stay tuned in.
I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone that has supported Stu a very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2014. 2013 has been by any standards an extremely sad year for my family but we have drawn tremendous strength from your support. You have given us a Christmas present that no money could buy, my brother’s life.
Ladies & Gents,
I went to see Stu on Monday with my friends Kev Stanton and Herbie Hancock and on Wednesday with my sister Mary Doherty this week.
The improvement in Stu just over 3 weeks since he arrived in the UK is obvious. From hardly any response shown in Thailand he is now making eye contact with people that speak to him, moving his arms and head and squeezing people's hands.
In Thailand Stu had lost a huge amount of weight whereas now he is gradually regaining that weight and his general appearance is so much better.
This improvement is directly contributable to the excellent care that the doctor and nurses are providing at the hospital.
I can reveal to you now that Stu's drastic deterioration in Thailand would have continued, the medevac team told me that if the repatriation to the UK was not prosecuted at the time it was then Stu would have died within a week. The medevac was only possible due to your efforts, you have simply saved Stu's life.
Thank you all for your huge efforts so far and your continued support.
Ladies & Gents,
I am conscious that we have raised a huge amount of money in our fund raising effort for Stu, this is a huge responsibility and therefore the need to be completely transparent regarding the use of the money is crucial. The way I have decided to achieve this transparency is to invite four independent directors plus myself to have visibility and unlimited access to the fund accounts which I have kept, and will continue to keep.
The following people have kindly agreed to be directors of the 'Stu Kyffin Fund':
The Stu Kyffin Fund currently stands at £39 149.54 available cash which now sits in a separate fund account for ease of accountability and transparency. We have spent approximately £120 000 to date on medical expenses in Thailand and the medevac back to the UK
Our fund raising ends officially on 26th December however after this date if you wish to donate further for my brother's rehabilitation and subsequent care let me know through Facebook and I will tell you how to do so.
I will also keep the 'Support Our Stu' Facebook site open after 26th December as a focal point for future updates and messages. I would ask that you all continue to support the site as this has been and will continue to be a very important part of our campaign.
Thank you all for your continued support.
Ladies & Gents,
I've just spent 2 days visiting my brother and each time I see him it is very clear that he has improved.
There was very pronounced arm movements this time and when I spoke to Stu he immediately found and fixed my gaze and maintained it while I spoke.
The nurses on the ward have said that when Stu hears a familiar voice there is a completely different reaction as opposed to when they speak to him. I am convinced that Stu is trying to find a way back and that hearing familiar voices is crucial to his recovery.
I watched as the doctor made his daily assessment of Stu and at one point he carried out a test where he rubbed Stu's sternum to test for reaction to painful stimuli. Stu immediately moved his arm and grabbed the doctors hand, at the same time raising his head off the bed. The doctor looked very surprised but I wasn't, I told the doctor that it was lucky that Stu was in a coma as he would have knocked him out.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has visited Stu, please continue to visit whenever you can, your efforts will bring him back.
Thank you all for your continued and relentless support, your monumental efforts have secured the best possible future for Stu.
I will not back down from this fight, my brother deserves the best and I will continue to ensure he gets that.
'We Few, We Happy Few, We Band Of Brothers'.
Ladies & Gents,
A massive thanks to Andy Allen, Wayne & Jacquie Toon for visiting Stu yesterday, here are messages from Andy and Jacquie after their visit. Stu is blessed to have friends like you, thank you. Dave.
Just come out from seeing your bro mate, I cant help but admire the strength stu has he looks into your eyes when you talk to him and there is a strength in his face that you just know hes is fighting and determined hes going to coms out the other side a true inspiration, il continue to go up and see stu as much as i can. Lol it was as though he laughed when i told him Charlie Brown was doing a ten miles walk today for him as if to say we couldn't get Charlie to walk 100m when we were in lol, his eyes turned in to that mischievous lad i knew. Hes back with us mate.
Hello babes. Today was a very emotional day for us. When we walked in to Stu's room I did have tears in my eyes. The dent in his skull was worse than I wished it to be. Stu was asleep. Piggie and Wayne talked to Stu about the old times. Telling jokes and telling Stu they were going to kidnap him as he must be gagging for a beer. Things along that sort of subject. Stu woke up. He opened his eyes half way. His right eye more than his left. He was trying to focus on Wayne and Piggie. I was holding his left hand and stoking his arm and hand. He gently squeezed my hand twice and lightly opened his hand. When Piggie was talking about what everyone was up to for the Stu fund he seemed to focus stronger when some names were mentioned. He moved his right lower arm at least 7cm. His room was immaculate and the staff were very friendly. They let 3 of us in even though there is a restriction to only 2 visitors. Your Mum came in and was touched that we were there. We left then after wishing he and our Stu well, so we only stayed just under a hour. All my love babes. Jacquie.
Ladies & Gents,
I've just returned from a 2 day trip to Hull to visit my brother. Huge thanks to Ian & Sara Burtt who let me stay at their house and treated me like a king, happy 40th birthday Sara.
Stu is much improved since I last saw him over a week ago. His eyes this time were wide open and followed any movement in the room. When Ian or I spoke to Stu he immediately looked straight into our eyes and there was also occasional movement of his arms and legs.
The care he is receiving is very good, the nurses and doctors are very proactive and were never too busy to answer any questions or talk at length about Stu. I am very confident that he is receiving the best possible care and treatment.
Stu's rehabilitation and long road to recovery began in real time today with a regime of physiotherapy and neuro-assessment. The assessment will be carried out over a period of weeks and this will give a better indication of how the brain injury has effected Stu and also how is best to proceed with his rehabilitation.
The NHS is a fantastic organisation we largely take for granted but when this happens to one of your family you quickly realise how lucky you are. Our doctors and nurses are some of the best in the world and we should celebrate that.
Ladies & Gents,
Please read this message of support from The Mayor Of London, Boris Johnson in response to an approach made to him by my good friend Chris Headland. Great work mate and thank you for your support Boris Johnson.
MAYOR OF LONDON
Our ref: MGLA131113-1653
Date: 02 DEC 2013
Dear Mr Headland
Thank you for your email of 12 November about Stuart Kyffin, the former SAS and Royal Anglian Regiment serviceman. Perhaps I should start by saying well done, as I believe that by the time you get my response, both the SO mile stretcher race and 20 mile march would have been completed.
I was not aware of Stuart's serious accident, and my thoughts are with him and his family at this difficult time. His dilemma is no doubt compounded by the fact that he is so far from home and loved ones.
I would like to commend your efforts on raising funds, and awareness of Stuart's plight, and hope that your sterling efforts will soon bear fruit.
I am happy to provide the following message of support:
l was particularly moved to hear of Stuart Kyffin's current predicament, and I would like to encourage all efforts to raise awareness of his situation, and the necessary monies for his medevac to the UK.
I would particularly like to salute those brave individuals who took part in the recent stretcher race in Helmand, Afghanistan, as well as the veterans of Royal Anglian Regiment who undertook an epic march in Northumberland. It is my hope that both these herculean acts of courage will encourage others to support this honourable campaign to ensure that Stuart is returned to these shores, and the bosom of his family, quickly.
Finally, I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of former Sergeant Chris Headland, of the Royal Anglian Regiment, who brought this matter to my attention, and commend all the work he is doing, alongside colleagues, on Stuart's behalf."
Mayor of London
C it y H a ll, L o n d o n, S E1 2 A A • m a y o r @ lo n d o n.g o v.u k • lo n d o n.g o v.u k • 0 2 0 7 9 8 3 4 0 0 0