Special rod gets stroke victim fishing again

Mark Bradley thought a stroke had ended his fishing days, but a charity designed a rod for him to use. Catherine Scott reports.

Mark Bradley has been a keen fisherman for over 40 years. However he feared his fishing days could be over when he suffered a stroke last year which seriously restricted the use of his left arm.

This was when the Community Stroke Team, based at Airedale Hospital, contacted Remap through occupational therapist Dawn Osborne. Dawn then got in touch with Vaughan Stell, who chairs the Airedale branch of Remap, a national charitable group of people with technical skills who create custom equipment for people with disabilities.

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Vaughan, who is a qualified engineer, met Mark and assessed the problem, which basically meant that he struggled to reel in his catch because of restricted movement in his arm. Vaughan came up with a universally jointed tubular mounting for the rod which is strapped to Mark’s chest with Velcro tape thereby freeing up one arm and enabling him to land his catch.

A speically adapted rod has Mark fishing again

“I was seriously worried that I wouldn’t be able to fish again so when Vaughan came up with this device I was over the moon. I recently landed a 12lb carp and it’s all thanks to Remap.”

Vaughan explains: “The appliance we produced for Mark is typical of the projects we get involved in. We are an active group of retired engineers and other volunteers who enjoy a challenge and are keen to take on more work and help disabled people in the Airedale area.

“Other devices we have made at Airedale recently include a lever-operated adaption to a chair enabling a lady with multiple sclerosis to raise her foot to help dressing, a simple hand-held device to help turning pages of a book/newspaper, a lavatory seat mounted support for a child with little sense of balance allowing the child to sit unaided and a special rigidly mounted embroidery hoop allowing a lady with a disabled arm to continue to enjoy her passion.”

Every year Remap panels around the country make hundreds of pieces of equipment, all specially designed to help people with disabilities achieve independence and follow their dreams. The majority of referrals come from health professionals, mainly occupational therapists and physiotherapists, who come into contact with disabled people in the course of their work but other referrals also come from relatives and friends.

The Airedale group of Remap which covers Keighley, Ilkley, Skipton and the Dales, has a specially designated medical professional panel member, Dawn Osborne, who can be contacted via the Mobility Services Department at Airedale General Hospital on 01535 292228 or [email protected] alternatively Vaughan Stell can be contacted direct at [email protected] www.remap.org.uk