Bryony's Story

"My children, they can come for love, not duty; that is so important.”

After retiring from the RAF Bryony suffered a fall that left her paralysed. She contacted the OA to help her keep her independence. This is her story.


Bryony was one of the first female officers to graduate from RAF College Cranwell, and was stationed around the world. She left after getting married, which was the regulation at the time.
Bryony is an avid horse-rider and active fundraiser for the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA).

 

The Accident

Bryony slipped on the stairs at home and fell, breaking her back, neck and spinal chord.

She lay paralysed on the floor for 30 hours before receiving medical treatment. Bryony spent 12 weeks in the Intensive Care Unit followed by nine months recovering on a spinal injury ward.

After a year Bryony returned home but with permanent mobility issues, and has to use a walking frame or wheelchair. She wanted to stay living in her home, but the stairs and remote location made it difficult. Simple tasks like going to the shops and visiting family were challenging.

The accident also negatively impacted on Bryony’s children’s university studies. Her daughter left university and her son struggled with exams, because they both worried about their mother.

 

How The OA Helped

Bryony contacted the OA, having first heard of the charity through her mother, who was a WRAF officer during the Second World War.

An OA Hon Rep visited Bryony at home, and assessed her needs.

This information was sent to the Benevolence Team, which awarded Bryony two means tested grants and organised:

  • A stair lift
  • A new lightweight electric wheelchair
  • Garden maintenance
  • A TV in her bedroom, because she is sometimes bedbound

Bryony receives a quarterly Standard Allowance grant, to be used at her discretion. She also receives a Bills grant for household bills and unexpected expenditure.

 

The Impact

The grants and equipment have enabled Bryony to live a full, active life. She has been able to stay living in her home, and goes horse riding again with assistance. Bryony continues to fundraise for RAFA, and has completed a sponsored skydive.

Her daughter returned to university, and her son retook his exams. Both graduated and are now in full-time employment.

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