Mervyn's story

Mervyn Humphreys has been a Complete Care client since 2009. Whilst on his honeymoon in South Africa, Merv was involved in a serious road traffic accident. He suffered life-changing injuries and was hospitalised for eight weeks before it was safe enough for him to travel back to the UK. Devastatingly, Merv lost his six month old son in the accident.

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Before his accident, Merv lived in Wales and made his living as a plumber. He was passionate about cars and spent his free time tinkering with old motors, fixing up quite a few over the years. As a part time DJ, Merv had a very full and active social life with a wide circle of friends – to whom he is known as “Mello”. He is quite the football fanatic, supporting both Arsenal and Shrewsbury Town.

On his return to Wales after the accident Merv spent a further year in hospital before being discharged. His injuries meant that life would be completely different. Merv is unable to use his limbs on the right side of his body or communicate verbally. Unable to walk, he now uses an electric wheelchair.

Due to his wheelchair, Merv’s home was unsuitable. Complete Care worked with Merv in his transition from hospital to a large bungalow with plenty of space for him to get around. He was introduced to Eva, who soon became his PA. Seven years later, and Eva is still working with Merv, along with two other fantastic PAs that make up his team. Eva, Julie and Penny all work hard to enable Merv to be as independent as possible, assisting him with all aspects of day to day living. From supporting him to get out of bed and meal preparation, to taking him shopping and to social events, Merv’s team help to ensure Merv maintains the lifestyle he chooses.

Any change can be difficult to adjust to, and with so much to come to terms with things were certainly challenging for Merv as he started to settle into a new way of life. It was incredibly difficult to have suddenly lost his independence and be forced to rely on having a PA to assist him at all times.

However, with a positive mind set and an incredible amount of determination, Merv has managed to achieve a huge amount in the years since his accident. He has worked hard, with the support of his PAs, to find his own ways of interacting with people and now uses pictures on his mobile phone along with arm gestures to communicate. Communication was one of the biggest hurdles that Merv had to overcome, and is one of his biggest sources of frustration. When PAs join his team, it takes considerably longer for people to get to know him and his routines when he is unable to explain things verbally to them. One of Merv’s previous PA’s put together a photo book full of pictures of key people in his life, his likes and dislikes and his interests to help him communicate with new people. The book is regularly updated and is still in use today!

Over time, Merv has built up enough confidence to go out independently in his electric wheelchair. Adventuring to the shopping centre in town or popping out for a pint in his local, Merv is a well-known character about town! He has many friends whom he and his PAs visit regularly and being such a popular guy, has many visitors to his home!

He has remained an avid Arsenal and Shrewsbury Town fan and has collected a hefty amount of memorabilia. DJ equipment including decks and vinyl records take pride of place in his bedroom. When he’s not with friends, Merv enjoys spending time surfing the internet and is partial to a bit of online retail therapy!

Mervyn is a truly inspirational person. He is incredibly positive in the face of adversity and has a brilliant sense of humour. Just an hour with him brightens the very worst of days!

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