I am an ex PGA Golf Professional Having served my apprenticeship under Peter Kenwright at Haydock Park Golf Club. On returning to the amateur ranks I was comfortably playing off a +2 hcp and shot the then course record of 64 in 2002. In 2004 I reached the quarter finals of the British Mis Amateur at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, beating the favorite and score leader Sandy Tywnholm in the 1st round 4&3
My path to MS is this:
In 2014 my wife and I took Kate (who we regard as our daughter) and Matilda on holiday, whilst we were away Kate asked if she could have her hair cut. I agreed and she looked fantastic and was so please she instantly instagrammed her mates. On arriving home and her mum finally bothering to pick Kate up, well fireworks exploded screaming at me and Kate for the haircut. Since then I have not really seen Kate other than at court proceedings where I have joint custody. (Which means nothing this is another story for my autobiography)
The stress of all this i certainly believe has contributed to my MS appearing.
Then during 2014 & 2015 I was training for Ironman UK 2015 when in the July when I suddenly had a shooting pain down my back. At first I thought it was a slipped disc, so I eased up on my training but the symptoms got worse. After a visit to the hospital I was told I may have Multiple Sclerosis or Neuro Myelitis Optica and I would find out in 6 to 8 weeks. Anyway with the symptoms worsening I decided that I would still enter Ironman UK against my family’s wishes.
The swim was ok but the back pain was horrific. The bike started well but I started with severe back pains and was having to stop regularly due to my leg going into spasm I started to worry. I started the run but the pain in my spine and my right leg going slowly numb I was struggling and having to run with my upper body bent over to try to ease the pain. With just over 2 miles left on the run my body and in particular my right leg gave way and I fell to the ground and I could no longer run. I was devastated.
After the event I was admitted to hospital for 7 weeks and finally diagnosed with Rapidly Evolving Multiple Sclerosis along with Functional Neurological Disorder and Non Epileptic Attack Disorder.
I suffer from severe electric shocks down my spine continuously pain 7/10 and no feeling function in my right side I am also partially sighted in my right eye (it’s like being in murky water). I suffer from pain in my left foot, severe fatigue, cognitive & walking difficulties, spasicity & dizziness. I look drunk sometimes 😂
I have also had 6 additional spells of approximately 1 x week in hospital for dealing with the seizures / episodes that I suffer due to the electric pains that shoot down my spine every minute of every day
Since my diagnosis I have been in a wheelchair for the majority of the time. Although I do try to walk as best I can and I am improving in getting around, I just have to listen to my body.
I will not lie I have been in a very bad place since the diagnosis and if it wasn’t for my wife and children I don’t know what I could have done due to living with constant pain of approximately 7/8 out of 10. It’s not been easy for my family seeing the change in me, but they understand that this wasn’t my choice! I just got dealt a shit deck of cards.
What I have realised is that my life is not over, I will not admit that I have come to terms with MS but I am learning slowly to adapt to my new way of life and to grasp every minute of every day. Thanks to obtaining a cheap badly beaten 2nd Hand Patterson Trio Golf Buggy I am able to get on the golf course and play or just sit and watch.
I am having lessons with Adrian Fryer and we both believe that turning professional is an option and that I could once again mix it with the big boys. I have asked the PGA to re-instate my membership but they are not happy to do this due to not being a professional for so many years, but they would like to speak to me at the Belfry at some point to discuss my re-instatement.
WATCH THIS SPACE maybe the PGA will support somebody who has had several bouts of personal setbacks and life changing situations and allow him to become the ONE thing he has always dreamed of being (Especially considering he is already CLASS A PGA QUALIFIED)
Maybe if they allow me back I could start Regional then work up through Euro Pro Tour (An invite to an event would be nice) I just hope they don’t mind a disabled golfer competing with them on a buggy?
My ultimate goal now is to practise hard to reach my goal of turning professional again.
So I am looking for EQUIPMENT sponsors to help a DISABLED golfer reach his goal of returning to the professional ranks. Please get in touch if you can help.