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Brighton locked-in miracle man defies medical experts
A grandfather continues to defy doctors who had written him off for dead 20 years ago.
Miracle man Graham Miles exercises regularly at his local leisure centre despite medical opinion that he would never recover from locked-in syndrome.
The 69-year-old puts his remarkable recovery down to the problem-solving mind he honed through years of dedication to his engineering job.
Mr Miles, of Albert Road in Brighton, was paralysed with locked-in syndrome following a brain stem stroke at the age of 49.
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Nine out of ten patients suffering from the condition, where a patient is aware and awake but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles, die during the first four months.
The former quality manager for CalorGas and rocket science researcher said it was his constant workload that led to his illness but it was his problem-solving mind that led to his recovery.
The father-of-two focussed all his energies on his recovery and within three months he began to regain facial movement and partial use of his voice.
Mr Miles said he focussed for three weeks on moving his big toe and then went on to extend the process to other parts of the body.
He said: “Several months later I looked at a brain scan I had done after I came out of the coma and I was told by doctors: ‘we don’t know why you are still alive’.
“All of my life I have solved problems and looked for alternative solutions and so that’s what I did when I came out of the coma.
“If I had just sat back and relaxed I would have died.”
A key part of Mr Miles’ recovery was hands-on physiotherapy and a tailored exercise programme, and he now exercises in the gym at Moulsecoomb Leisure Centre up to three times a week to maintain his mobility and posture.
He walks with the aid of sticks and requires a handrail for support while doing key stretching exercises.
He had previously attended a private gym but during a recent refurbishment his handrail was removed.
He then moved to the centre in Moulsecoomb Way in Brighton, operated by Freedom Leisure on behalf of Brighton and Hove City Council, where staff were happy to help.
Centre manager Jon Short said: “We were only too pleased to help Graham by installing the handrail which took just a little planning and consultation with him to ensure we found the right product and positioned it where it’s most useful.”
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