Family tell of 'amazing progress' made by Bali motorbike crash victim Mathew Taylor
A YOUNG man seriously injured in a motorcycle crash almost two years ago has started to feed himself after months of being fed through a tube.
Visitors to the bedside of Mathew Taylor said they have been "amazed" by his progress in 2012, after he was involved in the smash in Bali in 2011.
The 31-year-old suffered severe brain damage in the incident and was in a coma for several months. He could not leave his bed and was unable to speak.
But, today, he is no longer spoon-fed, can get about his hospital ward in his wheelchair and can speak to his family and fellow patients.
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Father Darrell said Mathew – a former Derby College lecturer – was still not ready to go home, though his health was "definitely improving".
Darrell, of Trowels Lane, Derby, said: "He is a lot better and has come very far compared to where he was a year-and-a-half ago.
"He still has problems with walking because his left foot keeps dropping forward, and he may need an operation to correct this, but there is still the possibility of him walking again.
"Also his memory is not too good at times.
"Release dates have been made for him before but these are usually tentative and are often reviewed.
"I don't think that he's ready to go home yet but he's making good, steady progress."
Mathew was working as a teacher on the Indonesian island when the crash happened.
At the time of the accident, Mathew did not have medical insurance and his family spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on his care while he was aboard.
Money was also needed to fly him back home, where he was taken to the Royal Derby Hospital.
At the beginning of the 2012, doctors had spoken of transferring Mathew to a hospital in Leamington Spa, which specialises in his kind of condition.
But he was instead sent to the Royal Derby Hospital's King's Lodge unit – which provides rehabilitation to patients with complex neurological disabilities – where he remains now.
As his condition improved, doctors felt they no longer needed to use a feeding tube which had been fitted into his stomach.
The procedure was originally done at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre, before Mathew was transferred to Derby. He was instead spoon-fed for several months but has now reached the stage where he can feed himself.
Darrell said: "He's eating three meals a day now. On Christmas Day he was able to have turkey. Sometimes we have to actually curtail his appetite.
"He can also use a wheelchair or a Zimmer frame to get to the day room and speak to other patients. His speech is also starting to improve, compared to the days when he could only make sounds.
"He had some visitors on New Year's Day who hadn't see him for a while and they said they were amazed by his progress.
"It's difficult for me to see because I see him quite often, so you don't always appreciate just how well he's coming along."