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Avalanche victim Graham is back snowboarding in the Alps after therapy at Ability Bow gym

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:36 30 July 2018

Avalanche survivor Graham Naylor back in Alps testing new snowboard design by Yusuf Muhammad (right). Picture source: Ability Bow

Avalanche survivor Graham Naylor back in Alps testing new snowboard design by Yusuf Muhammad (right). Picture source: Ability Bow

Ability Bow

A man who survived an avalanche and still recovering from brain injury six years later has been back to the Alps to return to snowboarding after long treatment at Ability Bow therapy gym.

Designer and engineer Yusuf Muhammad (left) at his Bethnal Green workshop where he created a snowboard for brain-injured Graham Nyler's special needs. Picture source: Ability BowDesigner and engineer Yusuf Muhammad (left) at his Bethnal Green workshop where he created a snowboard for brain-injured Graham Nyler's special needs. Picture source: Ability Bow

Graham Naylor has been testing a prototype snowboard in Austria with inventor Yusuf Muhammad, determined not to be put off by the avalanche in 2012 that paralysed his legs and caused brain injury.

Yusuf designed a prototype snowboard at his Machine Room studio in Bethnal Green tailored to his special needs.

He visited the hospital neurology department where Graham has been treated to work out a design to meet the needs of his rare Action Myoclonus condition. 

The two were testing the design in real snow conditions in the Austrian Alps before the weather warmed up and found Graham was able to stand upright on the board. 

Graham in the French Alps moments before the avalanche in 2012 that buried him alive. Picture source: Ability BowGraham in the French Alps moments before the avalanche in 2012 that buried him alive. Picture source: Ability Bow

“I’m staggered that I have the chance to return to the mountains and snow again,” Graham said. “That’s something I thought may never happen.  

“I am now using different muscle groups that I haven’t used since the avalanche, thanks to the therapy I’ve been having.”

The 46-year-old from Spitalfields was buried deep under tonnes of snow—it was only a mountain rescue dog that found him.

Graham was airlifted to a hospital in Grenoble and hooked up to a life support for three weeks before returning 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.

Graham recovers in hospital in Grenoble after his myracle rescue buried under tonnes of snow. Picture source: Ability BowGraham recovers in hospital in Grenoble after his myracle rescue buried under tonnes of snow. Picture source: Ability Bow

He has been having sessions at Ability Bow www.abilitybow.org since 2014 to aid his recovery from a hypoxic brain injury, which affected his speech and mobility. The gym has been teaching him to walk again following the avalanche he couldn’t outrun.

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