Tag Archives: locked-in syndrome

If only I could write like Eye Can Write – Jonathan Bryan

13 May

Before committing my words to the page on Jonathan Bryan’s Spring Festival appearance, I felt trepidation. After spending an hour in the company of him and his family, I, like many others in the room, including our host, Matt, had been moved from tears to laughter to awe, as a result of his command of language and beauty of his prose.

Jonathan has severe cerebral palsy, a condition that makes him incapable of voluntary movement or speech. This disorder, until recently, blighted Jonathan’s ability to communicate subjecting him to a world of silence, where teachers and alike spoke to him loudly and simply in a tone that, in his words, is usually reserved for babies and foreigners.

It was not until the discovery of a life-changing eye-gaze spelling board that Jonathan was able to unlock the silence and close the void between him and the outside world. His first independently-spelled word was ‘myriad’, a word which ‘heralded the silence of those around him and the ending of his.’ Continue reading

On Running

1 May
Naomi Benaron

Naomi Benaron

The only time I run is for the bus or the train.

I’m not saying I’m proud of this fact. And I’m getting to that scary age where running without some kind of stretching warm up is positively bad for my health. A long way, in fact, from the time where simply walking was just impossible. My five year old gives me this uncomprehending look when I tell him to walk (like when crossing the road), you know – that’s a run. Nope, that’s a skip. A walk is when one foot is still on the ground when the other one leaves it. Slow. Not fast. Still blank look. You know, like mum and dad. Oh – boring!

I’m also not a fan of watching sport. Maybe a bit of tennis. Perhaps even snooker though to be honest I’m not even watching the current world championships. (Whenever I watch it, Ronnie O’Sullivan loses. So I stopped. And he wins).

So when Swindon Festival of Literature director Matt asked me to chronicle the running event on the opening day (Monday 7 May) it was, at first, a dutiful ‘yes’ in response.

Then when he told me about the people taking part and their interesting stories, I was hooked. Continue reading