Graham helps Ability Bow gym which helped him walk again after avalanche
- Credit: Ability Bow
Graham Naylor is lucky to be alive after almost being frozen to death buried deep by an avalanche on a skiing trip.
The 40-year-old from Spitalfields was in a coma for 10 days on life-support after the accident and was only found buried under tonnes of frozen snow by rescue dogs.
Now he has raised £4,000 so far for the Ability Bow therapy gym, which is teaching him to walk again.
The cash is pouring in from worldwide fans of the late electronic music producer Marcus Intalex—his lifelong pal after the two met at college in 1988.
But his memories of that deadly accident five years ago in the French Alps still haunts him.
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“It all happened very quickly,” Graham recalls. “I just couldn’t outrun a torrent of snow and must have been buried very deep, because the rescue team couldn’t even find me by using poles during their search.
“Luckily, a mountain rescue dog was brought up and found me straight away.”
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He is learning to walk again with treatment by therapy specialists at the gym in St Stephen’s Road, off the Roman Road—and spends his spare time raising funds to keep the vital lifeline service going which has to depend on public donations.
“I’ve been really lucky and owe so much to the gym since the accident,” Graham adds. “It has provided support every day to aid my recovery after my accident.
“My care-worker Roy helps me wherever I go—he never seems to gets a day off.”
He has also received an extra £1,300 for his fundraising campaign which was set up just last September.
Graham was snowboarding off piste when the avalanche hit the slopes in 2012.
He had to be airlifted to a hospital in Grenoble and hooked up to a life support with a drip, then returned to Britain for three more months of intensive treatment at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, followed by long-term rehabilitation with Mile End community health team.
He has been using Ability Bow since 2014 to help his recovery from a hypoxic brain injury, which led to Lance Adams syndrome affecting speech and mobility.
His friends cycled for Ability Bow in the Ride London Surrey 100 event as part of his #RideWithGraham campaign in 2015, while others cycled coast-to-coast alongside Hadrian’s Wall.
He received proceeds from friends of Marcus Intalex with sales of a T-shirt he designed and a bike-ride by his care-worker in 2016 for Ability Bow and Headway East London brain injury centre in Shoreditch.