BIRTHDAY BOY Thomas Kneen is celebrating after making an “incredible” recovery, just over a year since being left wheelchair-bound.
Thomas, who turned 17 last week, has made massive strides since contracting a mystery infection whilst on holiday in Turkey in August 2010.
He returned home from the trip feeling shooting pains in his back, and pins and needles in his legs. He was rushed into York hospital three days later.
Over the course of the next 20 months, his condition gradually deteriorated and in October 2011 he was admitted to a wheelchair.
Since then, Thomas has undergone regular acupuncture treatment which, combined with his love of cycling, has been pinpointed as the catalyst for his recovery.
He told the Selby Times: “It’s the first birthday I’ve had in two years where I’ve not been in a wheelchair.
“It was horrible. There was a lot of hospital visits and probably one of the hardest parts was not being able to see my mates regularly. I got to see them at weekends but it wasn’t as often as at school.
“Acupuncture has really helped me and I’ve improved that much that I haven’t had to go as much as I used to.”
Thomas’ mum Janet says that the idea of acupuncture came about after doctors were unable to specifically diagnose his problem. She said: “We initially went to York Hospital but they don’t have a special paediatric unit, so we went to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and they were really helpful. It was from then that Thomas went to see his GP and the idea of acupuncture came about.”
Thomas now attends the Selby Acupuncture Clinic in Thorpe Willoughby just once a fortnight, as opposed to twice a week when he initially started going back in January this year.
Physio at the clinic, Phil Montgomery, says that Thomas’ improvements have amazed him. He said: “When he came for acupuncture his legs were numb, he could barely stand and was in severe pain.
“I then decided to try a different approach and this brought an incredible improvement. Within weeks Thomas then came into the clinic on crutches, and I was elated.”
Thomas gradually reduced his medication before returning to his loved hobby of cycling. He says that his determination to cycle, whatever the weather, also helps his condition. He added: “I go out on my bike everyday come rain or shine. Only snow stops me!
Thomas is now looking forward to attending College where he hopes to follow his dream of becoming an engineer.
He added: “Bikes have always interested me. I fixed friends bikes’ when I was in the wheelchair and I’d love to move to Canada or France when I’m older, somewhere where cycling is big.
“But that’s for the future.”
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Weather for Selby
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North