A fall and our advertisement 

As a dad you want to be a role model for your children. How did it feel for Valentina to have to get help after I landed on my back? How did it feel for Sebastian to see his dad on the floor (and unable to get up) once again? How does it feel to see a strong neighbour using all his power to drag me onto the bed and then get me standing? Jane supports my back and neck all the while. Sebastian’s friend, a caring boy, puts his head around the door; a different kind of sleepover. An innocent sneeze, balance goes and fingers not strong enough to grip the sink, the feeling of what’s coming next, impact, assessment.

Getting up tomorrow morning, extra caution. Stretch the curling fingers, all my exercises. Walking is now between bed, chair and wheelchairs. I can stand with sticks. Minimise risk of serious injury.

We are now looking for someone to help be the part of the dad I cannot be. Here is our advertisement:

‘Muscle and a good heart’

My name is Andrew. I am the dad of Valentina (class 7) and Sebastian (class 3), and husband to Jane. Until a year ago I was an energetic, active dad. Now I can barely walk, my arms are not strong, I can no longer write, cook, garden or drive. I still smile and am positive. My body has motor neurone disease, which progressively wastes key muscles. We will soon take delivery of a VW van which can transport my powered wheelchair as well as our family. I am looking for a person to help our family. A person over 18 with strength, energy and time, who can drive, who loves children, who wants to see what it is like in a family where a disease has come. I know such a person exists. If it is you or you know someone, please let me know. I have no fixed ideas about time commitment; up for discussion. Contact Andrew at andrewknowlman@gmail.com

I did not envisage my children would see me on the floor and it makes me sad. Thanks Colin for getting me up.

Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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