Family's joy as Diss man left unable to walk following surgery for a brain tumour, takes his first steps unaided
The family of a man left in a wheelchair following surgery to remove a brain tumour have spoken of their joy after learning he has taken his first steps unaided.
Glennis Bloomfield, from Diss, said her son, David, had been an inspiration in his battle to recover after surgery in 2013 left him unable to walk or talk.
David was just 32 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. After a 12-hour operation, and further tests, specialists broke the news he would never walk again.
But the 37-year-old, once the youngest player to play for Diss Town Football Club and known as Becks to his friends due to similarities with David Beckham, has defied all the odds.
After first using a wheelchair to get around, David moved on to a walking frame and finally a walking stick, before taking his first steps unaided this month. He can talk again, although he still struggles at times.
His aim now is not only walk again, but one day be able to run.
“He is amazing,” said mum Glennis, 72, who has three other children.
“As a family, it has been so hard for us over the last few years, but he has shown so much courage. He is an inspiration to us all.
“You hear stories of things like this happening to other people, but you only really know how it feels when it happens to you.
“David has kept his sense of humour throughout, found the courage to battle back and his journey is always in our thoughts.”
David, who grew up in Diss, and has three children, Coco, seven, Kiki, five, and East, two, with wife, Toni, and lived in the town till his late 20s, before moving to Norwich, said: “When I received the diagnosis, I felt totally crushed.
“At first, I was told I’d be back to work in three months. That was long enough to be off, but at least there was some light at the end of the tunnel. Then came the news after surgery that I would never walk again.”
David’s surgery left him with restricted movement on his left side. He also underwent several rounds of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
His recovery has been aided by team members at Bannatyne Norwich West gym.
“I worked with the fitness team and had a programme put together to help me use all the equipment available,” he said.
“I’d like to give a special mention to Elliott Roe. Through his guidance, I have been able to walk a few steps unaided, proving the professional experts wrong.
“I’m looking forward to conquering my new goal – to be able to run again, and I’m also focusing on supporting others in similar situations through The David Bloomfield Foundation.”
Elliott said: “David has worked incredibly hard and the proof is in the progress he’s made.
“Despite what health professionals told him, David has persevered and managed to take a couple of unaided steps, which is remarkable.
“I’m humbled to have been part of the progress he has made and am looking forward to seeing what else we can achieve.”
David’s sister, Karen Bartrum, said: “It has been very hard, especially for mum. David hated being in a wheelchair and he has, and still is, fighting back."
This article appeared in the July 5 edition of the Diss Express