Matty’s Therapy Fund

Update posted by Tom Hatton On Aug 06, 2017

So I am sat in my bed, trying to repair the various wounds inflicted on me over the past few days with a range of ointments, pills and an enormous amount of food. I'm trying to work out what the ride meant, as well as obviously being pleased to have finished within the time limit (just). It didn't feel like just a bike ride - I can't think of anything else that had me breaking down in tears on a repeated basis and obviously the reason we were doing the ride added an extra level of emotional intensity that I am still trying to put into words - hence the rather long winded nature of this update. Please try and bear with me, I really have had very little sleep.

It was easy to see what had attracted Matty to LEL - the sheer insanity of the adventure ahead filled a hole for him, I think, after dedicating himself to becoming a wonderful father and husband. But I think if Matty had been able to come with us, the kindness and interconnectedness of the event is also something that he would have been drawn to and loved.

The support of others during LEL was an absolutely essential part of being able to complete it. Whether it was my mates driving me to the starts of training rides, letting me crash and putting up with me talking endlessly about bicycles, friends of Matty Helen, Iain and Stuart motivating me with their infectious enthusiasm, Matty's cousin Tim Warin dragging me through a storm on the way into Louth, my uncle Martin delivering bike parts to Brampton, rider Pat who I had never met before pulling me up the 2nd ascent of Yad Moss, Jim Cope healing me with cigarettes and ice when I collapsed at Spalding (anyone who says fags have no benefits is now officially ill-informed) the endless succession of volunteers piling foods on plates and waking you at ridiculous hours of the morning to head back out into the 'painfest' or my father riding in with me for the last 50k - it all relied on other people to be actually achievable.

Looking out for others is something that typifies Matty as a person - I have lost count of the times he loaned me money, drove me places, talked me through some ridiculous situation I had gotten myself into or given me support and strength when I really didn't have much hope that my life was going anywhere good. Looking out for others is also something that everyone reading this has demonstrated by donating to his therapy fund - and I thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart for it. I can't tell you how much the progress Matty has been able to make on the back of the care he is receiving means - to him, to his friends and all of his lovely family. It was so heartening whilst riding to see the kindness of everyone coming together to help my friend, including many, many people who Matty has never even met. You are all absolute legends, thankyou!

The money raised will keep the necessary supports in place for several years now, which is fantastic. Matty's road is a very long one, but improvement is occurring and I believe will continue to occur. I would say though, if you knew Matty and he meant something to you then he does still need you. It is initially devastating to visit someone with a profound brain injury - particularly someone who was so full of energy like Matty. He is different now and I think it's easy to tell yourself that he's not really there anymore, that he doesn't really know what's happening.

The more painful truth, I am afraid, is that Matty is still there - he knows what has happened to him and (entirely understandably) has points of complete despair over it. Matty is and always will be an incredibly sociable person - he needs those of us who know him there in order to build on the progress he has made. Sometimes he is too tired, or spaced out or just too sad to let you know that he's there - but your continued presence in his life will still help his progress, I can assure you of that. A group of his friends will be taking Matty for a walk and a birthday drink on the 26th of August at the Devils Punchbowl near Hindhead - if you know Matty then please feel free to join us. His visiting calendar is also below - please do take some time out to see Matty and let him know you are still with him.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Gx0ZBn9YSS3ich1EkNDRvB_PB2LaWX2wNtPE1tAnzrg/edit#gid=0

I think my rambling is at an end now - but thanks again everyone - you have made a world of difference for my friend and I won't ever forget it.

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Update posted by Penny Warin On Aug 05, 2017

Well, Tom, Tim and Phil have completted this Herculean task. Amazingly well done to them, and thanks for putting themselves through it for Matty and to Tom for organising it. Also massive thanks to all those of you who have backed them and achieved this amazing fundraising. Tom has forwarded me some more photos to add to the page. Don't know why they won't go smaller but that's the way it is, it seems. Many thanks to everybody again.



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Update posted by Penny Warin On Aug 03, 2017

Hi again everyone. Following Tom's request to relay FB updates to this website. I've been trying to add some pictures for those of you amazing supporters who haven't seen them on FB. However, when I add them they are HUGE so am waiting for help from GGF team! They arrived at and left Louth this morning land the latest on the live tracking is showing they have all just arrived in Spalding (14.50 ish) and have 170km to go. I think everyone is hoping to see them back in Loughton in the early hours. What an undertaking and backing still coming in - huge thanks again - it really is an amazing supporting effort both from the riders and backers!!

If anyone who is not following their progress would like to for the last bit, Tom's rider number is R47, Tim's is R27 and Phil's is R24.The link again is https://londonedinburghlondon.com/tracking-rider/

If I don't manage to add the photos Tom will I'm sure when he's recovered!



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You will probably all know by now that Tom , Tim and Phil did the whole thing! Absolutely fantastic. I’m sure they’ll write a bit about their experience when they’re a bit recovered!

Penny Warin

Update posted by Aug 04

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Update posted by Penny Warin On Aug 03, 2017

Hi again everyone. Following Tom's request to relay FB updates to this website. I've been trying to add some pictures for those of you amazing supporters who haven't seen them on FB. However, when I add them they are HUGE so am waiting for help from GGF team! The latest update just now on the live tracking is showing that Phil was through Louth on the way back at 8.30 ish this morning and Tom and Tim look to be resting up at Louth ready for the last 244 km. The tracking has been a bit odd at times so maybe they have already set off. I think everyone is hoping to see them back in Loughton in the early hours tomorrow. What an undertaking and backing still coming in - huge thanks again - it really is amazing!!

If I don't manage to add the photos Tom will I'm sure when he's recovered!


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Update posted by Penny Warin On Aug 01, 2017

Hi, all you wonderful supportive people, backing these guys for Matty. Tom asked me to let you know how the ride is going if you haven't found out already. So ...they all reached Edinburgh successfully. Tim had some major sounding bike problems but thanks to an amazing bike to bike towing effort and equally amazing rapid networking by friends and family he reached Edinburgh where replacement parts were found and I gather all is well again. An already amazing achievement and now they've just (!) got to get back to London again. They seem to be making good time, Checking just now (10 pm ish), Tim and Tom have made it to Innerleithen and looking forward to the spectacular stretch to Eskdalemuir. Phil, I think, is somewhere between Eskdalemuir and Brampton (the source of excellent fish and chips I happen to know and which Matty has enjoyed many times on the way home after walking in the Lake District).. Keep peddling guys and I hope you are able to enjoy some of the spectacular scenery up there! And unending thanks again to all of you who are backing them and keeping them going. You have raised so much to give Matty the best chance of optomising his recovery potential and he is giving his very best effort too, when he can.



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There are more photos to show how theyre going but don’t know how to add them. watch this space

Penny Warin

Update posted by Aug 01

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Update posted by Tom Hatton On Jul 29, 2017

Hey everyone, just to say we are all signed up and ready to leave tomorrow on what will be the toughest physical test any of us have ever attempted. Massive thanks to everyone for the sponsorship and support. I have lost count of the favours my friends, family and long suffering girlfriend have done for me whilst I trained to try and be ready to do this. It is all going towards a deeply important cause though and is having a positive impact on the life of one of the best people I have ever met. See you all on the other side for as many beers as I can ingest. Cheers!

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Update posted by Tom Hatton On Jul 14, 2017

Hey all,

We are two weeks away from actually trying this thing and another of Matty's mates has thankfully joined us for the ride - Iain Wilson, who used to run a community bike project with Matty has a spot on LEL and is joining our team to help fundraise (and probably drag my sorry arse along into a headwind judging by the last time we rode together).

There aren't any other spots available on LEL, but if anyone fancies joining us for a stretch of it then you will be more than welcome - particularly on the journey back when we're going to be completely knackered and probably facing into a headwind. There will be a tracking system on the website https://londonedinburghlondon.com/ so you can see when we go in and leave the various control points en route. My Rider Number is R47 if you'd like to check how we're getting on.

The good news is that Matty is continuing to show signs of improvement, over 18 months since the accident, particularly with conscious verbal responses to questions or stimuli. The money you've helped provide has been a big part of that and we thankyou massively for it. I'd like to keep things going though, as it's clear that Matty still has a very long and difficult path of him, despite the amazing progress he has made so far. If you were able to share this website on your social media networks over the next couple of weeks that would be ace. Cheers everyone!


Tom

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Update posted by Tom Hatton On May 08, 2017

Hi all,

We have all been training for a little while now and are starting to break a bit. The thing is London-Edinburgh-London (LEL from here on in) is the sort of event that experienced cyclists (audaxers, apparently) spend years preparing themselves for. Trying to turn your body from that of someone who sort of pootles about a bit on a bike into that of a hardened endurance athlete in under a year is a bit of a stretch, to put it mildly.

Once you start to edge above 100 mile rides into the 120-200 mile a day category, equipment that was perfectly useable before begins to do horrific things to your body (I have pictures), snaps or just doesn't work any more. Bits of your body you didn't know existed (ITB band anyone?) start to inflict crippling pain upon you.

We are, therefore, in the rehab phase of our training, as my fellow LEL campaigner Phil put it. Or the 'preparing the excuses for when you fail' stage as our dastardly mate Glenn put it. New exercises to lengthen bits that have got too short, or press on bits that have got too tired, new bits of equipment that cause almost as much pain to get used to as they are supposed to save in the long run (you can google breaking in a brooks, but just don't look for images). My own rides have got shorter in recent weeks, but I am trying to focus on doing multi-day rides with exercises at the end to recover. Working out to deal with all this pain now should actually help prepare us for the 5 day torment that awaits us in 30/07.....

This hopefully goes some way to show that we are getting a good bit of suffering in for the money that you've kindly sponsored us. I don't want to over-dramatise it though. At the end of the day I have a really close mate who has been stuck in a hospital bed for nearly 18 months now. And ultimately, as determined as we are to complete this thing, we all have the choice to back out, whenever we want (despite the ignominy we will face from Glenn).

One of the hardest thing about Matty's situation is that the capacity to make choices has been taken away from him for now. Where he goes, what he wears, who he has to talk to - it all gets decided for him. This must create situations of frustration and despair that I think it's difficult to properly imagine without 'being in the bed'. A group of us took Matty to the pub the other day, which was lovely - but when was it time to leave? It was such an unspoken awkwardness, as we were there for Matty but had to decide for him when we'd had enough. Horrible.

And yet, things do seem to be changing for Matty, with the therapeutic supports you have helped to fund. One of the nurses heard him say 'yes' a couple of weeks ago, when she asked if he wanted his medication. These conscious responses are not consistent, but they are at least present now, over a year since he had his accident. Yet again, Matty is showing his determination, his will to live and his capacity to improve. Thanks so much for all the help you've given in helping him to carry on.

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Update posted by Penny Warin On Apr 10, 2017

Another huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to Matty's therapy fund - all 179 of you! It is truly amazing to know so many people are rooting for him and also providing such an incentive to Tom,Tim and Phil to complete this incredibly challenging ride for Matty. Your involvement means we have met our initial target, which is brilliant and which means that the therapies are now going ahead and he is definitely benefitting from them. The wheelchair motor is ordered and should arrive in a couple of weeks and then we'll be able to take him outside more easily which will be brilliant too. However, we don't want to put anyone off who hasn't yet donated and wants to! Basically the more we raise the longer we are going to be able to go on with and build on the current programme and also absorb extra costs - for example the music therapist is, at the moment, generously waiving her travel costs. So, a huge thank you to those of you who have contributed already and if there's anyone reading this who hasn't and is thinking of doing so, please do and join this amazing band of supporters!

With love and best wishes to all of you, Penny

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Update posted by Tom Hatton On Mar 30, 2017

Hey everyone, just wanted to say thanks again for this amazing support people are giving Matty through this campaign. 58% of the way there and the ride doesn't take place till the end of July! It is giving me a well-needed kick up the arse for training though, so again, much appreciated. :) The help you've given has put in place services that are helping Matty right now. I've been to see him a couple of times since the therapy started and have really seen a change in Matty for the better. There is still a very long road ahead for him and his family of course, but I really feel that the love and kindness people are showing is helping to get him back on the right track. And on that terribly hippyish note (which Matty will no doubt find amusing coming from me) I am going to go to bed - I have 600k of training to get done in the next 3 days and a lot of Portuguese holiday food and booze weight slowing me down! Cheers again everyone.

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Anonymous

Backed On Oct 17, 2017 Amount Hidden

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Well done Tom!

Davidaire Horsford

Backed with £40.00 On Sep 05, 2017

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What an achievement for the cyclists and what a worthy cause.

Janet Rook

Backed with £20.00 On Sep 01, 2017

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Anonymous

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Lovely to learn more about the warin \\\"mini nation\\\" at ed and Hannah wedding. All power to music therapy!

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Backed with £130.00 On Aug 28, 2017

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What a wonderful thing to be doing for such a very special cause. Well done Thomas! With much love from Duncan, Marilyn and family. XXXX

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