For eighteen months, Allan Yoxon, hung onto life but had lost interest in it.
He’d suffered excruciating pain for weeks until he was diagnosed. Steroids and hospitalisation started him back on the long road to recovery.
The recovery took over a year during which time Allan admits he, “felt like a zombie”.
A referral by his medical rehab team to Knowsley’s Activity for Life exercise programme changed everything.
“I hadn’t been doing anything, all my muscles were wasted and I was a stone underweight
“I was really apprehensive but I’d been invited to join the programme so decided to give it a go.”
At first, Activity for Life was aimed at people recovering from a heart attack or a stroke or those with a medical condition such as diabetes.
Now it’s being extended to anyone who needs help to become more physically active.
Adam Buxton, Activity for Life advisor, said: “They might just want to feel better about themselves or lose weight.
“The first thing we do is assess their needs and find out what they want to achieve. Then we set goals and help them achieve them.”
The Activity for Life programme lasts 12 weeks and can cost as little as £4 a month.
People taking part can then carry on for another twelve weeks for as little as £3.75 a week.
They can still join in the sessions after that, if they take out a Knowsley Leisure Centre membership.
“I call this lot the ‘A’ team,” said Allan. “And their friendly cajoling and support has helped me more than they will ever realise.
“They helped me at my lowest ebb and made me feel as if somebody cared. I’m much more confident now and have a much more positive approach to life.
“I’d encourage anyone to give this a go. The ‘A’ team’s attitude is - don’t put it off until tomorrow, get on and do it now!”
Activity for LIFE is available at all Knowsley Council’s leisure centres. To find out more, call 0151 443 3109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org