Dot Tussler started at Stoke Mandeville in 1982 and is now one of the longest-serving physiotherapists working at the hospital.
"Patient Jane Blackburn describes the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy that took place at Stoke Mandeville in the 1960s."
“They put full callipers on me and then I had to lift myself up on to these bars, just like the lad in the photo; once you mastered that you were given crutches, and then the fun began."
Guttman's new regime would not merely be medical and surgical; it would also be rehabilitative. As he himself said, the main aim was to get patients back into life outside the wards.
"They got in wheelchairs, and they had shortened sticks, and a disk for the puck, and they went up and down an empty ward hitting this puck. It was played against the physiotherapists, and later against the local football clubs."
“The relationship you had with your physio was very special. You saw them twice a day; and they were so much better at explaining things."
"I think Guttmann’s model at Stoke Mandeville where the physiotherapy department – rather than the OT – was responsible for all the sports rehabilitation was quite unusual at the time."
What made the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville truly distinctive was the introduction by Guttmann of sport as a means of rehabilitation.
"Today individual Physios assess the risks of ‘therapeutic handling’ but many staff at Stoke Mandeville still do far more manual handling of patients than in other branches of physiotherapy.”
"I remember there was one tetraplegic patient there who was writing a book; and in his room there was this elaborate piece of equipment that allowed him to type using his mouth as he had no movement below his neck."