Falling & Laughing: The Restoration of Edwyn Collins

Falling & Laughing: The Restoration of Edwyn Collins

Grace Maxwell

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0091930006

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In February 2005, Edwyn Collins suffered two devastating brain hemorrhages. He should have died. Doctors advised that if he did survive, there would be little of him left. If that wasn't enough, he went on to contract MRSA as a result of an operation to his skull and spent six months in the hospital. Initially, Edwyn couldn't speak, read, write, walk, sit up, or feed himself. He had lost all movement in his right side and was suffering from aphasia—an inability to use or understand language. When he initially recovered consciousness the only words he could say were the names of his partner and son, yes, and no. But with the help of his partner Grace and their son Will, Edwyn fought back. Slowly, and with monumental effort, he began to teach his brain to read and speak all over again—with some areas of his mind it was if he had been a slate wiped utterly clean. Through a long and arduous road of therapy he began to re-inhabit his body until he could walk again. Grace's story is an intimate and inspiring account of what you do to survive when your husband is all but taken away without warning by a stroke.












reaction. ‘It feels so safe here, I know, but there is no way we would be moving him out if he needed to be here, I promise. He’s a success story for us. We’ve been losing a lot of people recently. He’s done brilliantly.’ Then he leans over Edwyn and says, ‘We can’t keep you here any longer, mate, you’re doing too well. I know you probably think that’s mad, cos you feel like shit, but honestly it’s true. We’ll miss you, Edwyn.’ Edwyn smiles wanly at him. What a pro. But Edwyn is certainly not so

unfortunately left him with a racist streak. Not virulent – the casual variety, but eye-watering nonetheless. He had worked in a factory off the A4 for donkeys’ years and, an unmarried man, was hugely attached to his factory and workmates. And Mark, the same age as me, forty-seven, was an accountant who used to work for the MOD. He was a Led Zeppelin aficionado, obsessive even, and had named his first son after Jimmy Page. His second little boy was only four or five and was missing his dad.

it was too low and getting back up would involve a deviation from his prescribed standing-up routine. The occupational therapists were to organise the local social services team to fit a cage around the loo, put my lovely new sofas (bought just before Edwyn’s illness) up on blocks and generally turn the house into a nursing home. My tongue was shortening by the day I was biting it so much. Still, I had the comfort of knowing that unless I harried and harassed, the chances of the local social

the way. Most of the work had happened at night time. They were past masters at what they did and required no interference from me or Hazel, or the ‘office girls’, as Seb archly referred to us. He used to leave us notes on the desk from the night before: ‘Office girls, need ink for the printer.’ ‘Office girls, so and so phoned, re such and such. Get back to him. Now please.’ ‘Office girls, blah blah not happy about quote. THIS WILL NOT DO!’ Since Edwyn had fallen ill the funny studio rhythm

of the paparazzi are hyperventilating for Sophie Ellis Bextor who’s with her husband, the little guy from The Feeling (they ask him to duck out of the pictures, which he obligingly does). She’s working it with the calm expertise that comes with great experience. Edwyn, meantime, is allowed to pass unmolested by recognition until just towards the end of the line when a lone voice is heard: ‘That’s Edwyn Collins.’ ‘Who?’ Mutter, mutter … ‘Edwyn, Edwyn, this way mate…over here, to your right

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