Several years ago, my friend Annie Maw was thrown from her horse, Lily, and was paralysed from the waist down. She spent the next nine months in the Duke of Cornwall spinal unit in Salisbury. Her medical care, she says, was faultless but she had two complaints. The TVs were positioned in such a way that you could hear everyone else\’s and the food was disgusting.
\”If I hadn\’t had people bringing me in food, I think I would have starved. The few vegetables we did have were overcooked – yellowing sprouts and greens. Tomatoes were those tasteless ones you get all year round. Lettuce was limp. There was never any dressing. I remember one night getting a strange black lump on a plate – nothing else at all: it was an overcooked fishcake. That was the pits.\”
Annie is now raising money to plant a vegetable garden in the hospital grounds. Not only will it be good for the patients to get outside, but she reckons that they can pick and cook their own produce. The average stay in Salisbury is a year.
Yup, we\’re going to force the paralysed in the spinal unit to go out and dig their own allotments.
Some/many/most hospital patients might well benefit from such. Those in for some mental wobblies for example might rather enjoy a bit of stress free bending over the lettuces.
I just find it difficult to believe that those, if not securely strapped to a hospital bed then in a full body cast, are going to find it all that helpful.