Bedhampton retired soldier overjoyed he can shake the hands of veterans again after suffering a series of strokes

A RETIRED soldier who suffered a series of strokes will now be able to shake hands with fellow veterans thanks to an occupational therapist.

By Millie Salkeld
Monday, 21st October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 21st October 2019, 7:00 am
Duncan Morrison and wife Pat
Duncan Morrison and wife Pat

Three strokes left Duncan Morrison, known as Morrie, from Bedhampton unable to walk and use his right arm.

But thanks to therapy from Davina Moseley from Southern Health NHS Trust, the 76-year-old, who was a Territorial Army soldier based in Portsmouth, is now able to shake hands and salute.

His wife Pat was left feeling helpless when the pair returned from hospital and she was eager to try everything she could in order to help Morrie restore the use of his right arm.

They tried various methods – even buying a keyboard to practise hand movements – but nothing seemed to work and it became increasingly difficult and frustrating for the couple to stay motivated and positive to keep trying.

Pat said: ‘The important thing is that we didn’t give up. Just when it felt like we were at the end of the road, we came across Davina. I wish we had met her when Duncan was first discharged from the hospital.’

Davina, who works at Havant Health Centre and is part of the Allied Health Professionals workforce, visited Morrie and initially gave him exercises to practice as well as guiding him with recommendations on how to use his hands.

After lots of hard work Morrie achieved his goal of shaking hands so he can shake the hands of veterans which holds a symbol of respect and meaning.

Davina said: ‘When Pat told me Duncan had been following my recommendations and is now able to shake his friend’s hands, I was absolutely delighted for him. He had such a big grin on his face. He now attempts to squash my hand in a handshake whenever I visit.’

Morrie is now also on his way to perfecting the salute again and has set his sights on being able to stand up behind his chair allowing him to see more of the outside as he continues his recovery.Davina said: ‘It is always lovely to hear you had made a difference in some way. There is more to occupational therapy than supplying a piece of equipment.’