My physio and I are a team
Written by Jessica Bomford, July 31, 2023
Regular access to specialist physiotherapy has helped Tom stay active and develop his love of football.
But a recent bad ankle bleed has reminded Tom just how important a role his physiotherapist plays in his life.
Tom, 15, has mild haemophilia A and has been supported by specialist physio Dave McWilliam at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for many years. When a football injury resulted in a painful ankle bleed, Dave pulled out all the stops to help him.
Tom said: ‘Dave’s always supported us. If I need to see him, he’ll always try to fit me in. We’re like a team, we have great banter and I know he’s always on my side.’
After wearing a boot and following Dave’s advice, Tom’s ankle is on the mend. Tom decided to step back from competitive football following a number of ankle injuries, but continues to play socially. He also helps to coach at a children’s football club every Saturday and every Sunday works as a referee at matches for teams aged seven and under.
As well as helping him stay fit and healthy, Dave has also helped Tom by looking at the bigger picture of his movement and balance. When he had knee problems earlier this year, Dave realised that they were caused by a weakness in Tom’s hip. Once he strengthened his muscles in this area, his knee problems disappeared.
I think everyone should have access to a physiotherapist, because it is really important to be active if you have a bleeding disorder and they help you achieve that.’
Tom said: ‘My haemophilia nurse is great, but she’s focussed on my treatment. Dave sees my haemophilia and any issues that come from it in a different way, and really helps to make my life easier.
‘I think everyone should have access to a physiotherapist, because it is really important to be active if you have a bleeding disorder and they help you achieve that.’
Tom is speaking as part of our Fit for the Future Summer Appeal which is raising money to help the Haemophilia Society continue to provide information and support for people about physiotherapy. We also campaign to ensure all Comprehensive Care Centres provide specialist physiotherapy services and use our platform to raise awareness that everyone with a bleeding disorder is entitled to this service.