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Karl quits his wheelchair determined to walk from Bow to see Spurs play

PUBLISHED: 17:00 31 August 2019

Coma victim Karl Jarvis spurred on to walk six miles to see Totenham Hotspur match. Picture: Stuart Wilson

Coma victim Karl Jarvis spurred on to walk six miles to see Totenham Hotspur match. Picture: Stuart Wilson

Stuart Wilson

A man who was in a coma for two weeks after a motorbike crash and left in a wheelchair years afterwards now plans to walk six miles to watch his favourite football team.

Karl is giving up his wheelchair to do press-ups at Ability Bow gym. Picture: Stuart WilsonKarl is giving up his wheelchair to do press-ups at Ability Bow gym. Picture: Stuart Wilson

Karl Jarvis is confident he can make the trek from his home in Bow to see Spurs play at Tottenham after having treatment at Ability Bow therapy gym.

He was three months in intensive care and confined to a wheelchair after his accident 10 years ago when he was living in Thailand.

"I couldn't remember a thing after the crash," he said. "The hospital saved my life, but I couldn't get out of my wheelchair and was really depressed."

Karl and his family used their savings to pay for his care, then returned to Britain for further specialist hospital treatment at the Royal London.

Karl in hospital in Thailand recovering from motorbike crash. Picture source: Karl JarvisKarl in hospital in Thailand recovering from motorbike crash. Picture source: Karl Jarvis

The crash left him with limited speech and damaged brain tissue, unable to do simple everyday tasks like holding a pen.

But Karl is slowly overcoming his years of disability after finally being referred to Ability Bow.

"My disability has destroyed me a bit," he admits. "But I'm grateful being here.

"I wouldn't even think of going to watch Tottenham or walk from home to White Hart Lane if I hadn't started the therapy."

He is now able to exercise almost entirely on his own to strengthen his legs, working with the gym's team of personal trainers.

"This increases my independence and motivates me," the 48-year-old tells you. "I can now even go shopping down Roman Road Market."

The former restaurant owner was left with life-changing injuries and unable to do anything physical.

Ability Bow founder Victoria Kent said: "People like Karl can recover impressively following a traumatic and life-changing experience. He is taking an inspiring path with his wellbeing."

Victoria opened the therapy gym at St Paul's Old Ford parish church in 2006 which has since helped 4,000 disabled people and injury victims, as well as those with chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis or recovering from strokes or severe mental depression. But the gym has had its own struggle since public finances stopped in 2007 and has had to rely on donations from wellwishers and fundraising.

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