Car fan Terence Goode wasted no time getting back on the road after a serious stroke in March 2018. The 64 year-old former BT project manager from St Albans successfully completed an assessment to return to driving in March, less than a year after the illness struck, thanks to some help from Welwyn Garden City-based charity HAD’s Driving Centre.
The ‘life after brain injury’ charity Headway referred Terence to HAD this January and following an initial assessment from HAD assessors Matt Miller and Sophie Ndikum he received six hours of lessons from fellow assessor Simon Edwards. He then attended a follow-up on-road assessment with Simon and Occupational Therapist Jane Baker.
Terence, who has minimal movement down his right side, used one of HAD’s fleet of specially adapted cars, a BMW 1 series, fitted with a left foot accelerator and a left-side mounted Lodgeson’s Lollipop.
‘All the Herts Ability team were great and really helpful’, Terence explained. ‘Although I am quite a confident character by nature they gave me such a boost because when you are driving you never know what’s round the corner waiting for you’
‘Terry didn’t take long to get to grips with using the new controls for driving. It’s great to see him getting his life back on track, especially as he now has the added responsibility of a baby son to look after’, Simon Edwards said.
Terence learnt to drive again in the right car, as he explains: ‘I’ve been fascinated with BMWs since I was a small boy growing up in Finchley and remember the BMW badge left an impression on me from an early age.’
‘I recall that the boy next door had a BMW bubble car in the 1970’s and I also liked the look of the 2002Ti. It was inevitable that I would get one for myself and, sure enough, in the late 80’s I was behind the wheel of a 323i’.
Terence, who also owned a 323i convertible in 2014, wants to get fit enough to drive another BMW: ‘I’m doing a lot of strengthening exercises for my right arm and leg and also using my bicycle a great deal at the moment. I want to sign up to an intensive limb course at the National Hospital for Neurology in Queen Square, London in the near future’.
Terence’s positivity is inspiring, as is his philosophical approach to life. ‘I’m fortunate to have had a really good, active life and met many interesting people’, the former part-time swimming coach and keen footballer explained.
He and his wife, Katsuko will be busy with newly arrived son Bertie, who was born just weeks before Terence successfully completed his assessment. ‘Yes, I know I will probably not get another job, unless some company needs an over-sized paper-weight’,he joked. ‘But Bertie takes up a great deal of my time now, along with my grand-daughters Alice, 2 and Isla, 18 months, who both live in Welwyn Garden City’.
Terry has just ordered a Toyota RAV4, but I wouldn’t bet against him driving the family around St Albans in a BMW convertible pretty soon!
Herts Ability has Driving Centres in Welwyn Garden City, Dunstable and South Oxhey. If you are interested in getting back on the road you can call them on 01707 384263.
We also provide a number of other services for older and disabled people including:
An equipment centre with a huge array of mobility products and Information and advice.
For more details call 01707 324581 or visit www.hertsability.org.uk