While I sat in the Waiting room of the small clinic in London, I was hoping against ali the odds that the man l’d come to see could help me walk again. Ayear earlier, I left hospital in Bristol after an operation on my spine, having lost the use of my legs. KnoWing there was nothing the medical profession could do for me was devastating. I was such an active, independent person and to be told, at 26, that l’d spend the rest of my life in a Wheelchair was morethan I could bear. But that morning I was going to meet a man called Hratch Ogali, who was my last hope.
Hratch calls himself a ‘mind instructor’ his method of healing uses the power of the mind.To say I was sceptical about this is an understatement.
But my friend Sally had read an artide about him Which described how he’d helped numerous people with spinal
injuries to walk, so I thought there must be some basis to his theories. And anyWay, I had nothing to lose.
Two weeks later I was on a train to London.
I was nervous but excited, and intrigued to see how Hratch’s treatment would work. At £100 for each consultation it wasn’t cheap, but it was my only option and I had to give it a chance.
I was reassured at hoW’normal’the clinic was just like any physiotherapy clinic.
Hratch Wasn’t conventional at ali though he was sft 5in tali with a handlebar moustache. But he came across as straightforWard and honest. He didn’t want to know how l’d got to Where I was, he just wanted to concentrate on movingforWard, Which was refreshing. His approach was unconventional too, but I Wanted to keep an open mind.
Back to the beginning
My ordeal began in September 1999, just after I got back from honeymoon with my husband, Tom. I dropped something on my foot and it sWelled up, so I Went to see my GP and after examining my toe, he asked a few questions about my general health. I mentioned having some bad headaches when l’d been at uni, and he suggested I have some routine tests.
The news was a complete shock.Tm afraid you have a rare neurological condition.’the specialist explained.‘A hole has developed in your spinal membrane, and if we don’t operate.you’ll be in a Wheelchair for the rest of your life.’ But Worse was to come. The operation carried a 99 per cent chance of partial ortotal paralysis. I could hear myself crying, but I couldn’t take it in. I was in complete shock at 23, my Whole life had fallen apart in a feW minutes.Tom and I stayed up that night talking it över but we both kneW I had only one option.
Ten days later I was Wheeled into an operating theatre, with my mum and Tom in tears as they Watched me go in for the nine hour session.The next thing I remember is seeingTom’s pale face beside my bed. I tried to move my toes and could feel them Wriggling.Tom looked on in amazement as I lifted my legs up. I Was the one per cent to come through Without any paralysis! The operation, Which the surgeon hadn’t ‘Along With the operation Was a 99% chance of total or partial paralysis’ performed before, Was a success. Seven Weeks later, I Was back at work.
More trouble ahead
But then in February200i,whilewewereat my parents’ house in Devon, I woke upfeeling hot and sWeaty.When Tom turned the light on, I Was surrounded by blood. My back Was leaking spinal fluid.TWo hours later I Was in theatre again.This time, When I woke up, doctors confirmed I Would lose the use of my legs.
A Week later I Was discharged from hospital on crutches, barely able to Walk. By August I Was in a Wheelchair.Tom had to give up work to look after me. I couldn’t even bathe or dress myself, and the vulnerability and humiliation Was mortifying. We had to move back in With my parents and at my loWest point I tried to makeTom leave me, but he alWays refused to listen.’I love you, l’m not going to leave,’ he’d teli me. And sloWly,
I began to believe him.
Mind over matter
İt was nearly a year later that my new journey With Hratch began. For the first sessions he encouraged me to mentally imagine my spine mending itself, vertebrae by vertebrae. İt Was hard at first, but he said I had to believe in the link betWeen my mind and body. I didn’t see any immediate results, but I persevered, and three months into the therapy I started to see physical changes.The first sign came When my legs were able to take my Whole body Weight When I stood up. My feet started moving and then my ankles felt stronger. Hratch encouraged me to use a treadmill and although I Was terrified of getting out of the Wheelchair, I could move my feet sloWly. By the end of the course I Was feeling sensations in my legs and I could move around on crutches. Since then l’ve got steadily stronger.
Last JuneTom and I moved back into our own house, and l’ve started Walking on crutches and sWimming. I’ll alWays need physio and medication, but now l’m able to lead a mobile, independent life. And after What We’ve come through, we knoWjust how strong our love is.We’re busy planning forthefuture now this time nextyear I want to be a mum!
How a mind instructor Works
‘The teaching is based on nature, and isfreefrom medication and religion,’ says Hratch Ogali.’You learn to open the communication betWeen the mind, the brain and the body, and you use your brain poWerto overcomeyour condition be it mental or physical. Once the mind opens,whateveryou instruct With determination and commitment begins to create the necessary changes. Once you understand hoWthe mind and brain Work together,you realise theyare yournatural healing tools, the true miracles of nature. Ali that is required is the WillpoWer to follow a programme to create change.’