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Wheelchair user Rose stands tall after a trip to the pool

Posted on December 2, 2018

When Rose Puxley took to the swimming pool there were smiles galore from her and tears of joy from helpers who had only ever seen the former model seated in her wheelchair.

Rose became a member of the Centre 81 charity after suffering a stroke more than 15 years ago. When staff there recently asked her if she had any ambitions she told them she would love to be able to walk again.  So they whisked her off to the swimming pool at Great Yarmouth’s Marina Centre and helped her into the water where the buoyancy enabled her to stand on her own two feet for the first time since her stroke. While she beamed with happiness at the sensation, Centre 81 facilitator Lynn Judd cried with joy.

“This is why I do this job,” said Lynn, who has worked at the charity for eight years. “Helping people with a disability to achieve things like this is the greatest feeling in the world.  I did cry, I don’t mind admitting it. It happens a lot with this job as you can get very emotional when you see the reaction of members when they find they can do something they never expected they would be able to do”.

Rose, who was on the books of a Norwich model agency in her 20s, said, “I was a bit frightened at first getting into the pool because I didn’t know what to expect. But I had a lot of help and found out that the water enabled me to stand up. It was brilliant. I’m going to keep going.”

The pool at the Marina Centre has a special ramp to enable wheelchair users to get into the water. Rose was helped by Lynn and her colleague Ference Setet, who has been helping Rose’s mobility with exercises at Centre 81 and now hopes to do more with her in the water.

Diana Staines, the charity’s chief executive, said, “Our wonderful staff have a great relationship with members and we all get emotional when we are able to help people achieve things like this. Rose’s confidence has grown immeasurably since she took her first dip and she doesn’t stop smiling when she’s telling you all about it.”

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