This week, at our Cambridgeshire rehab community, we’re delighted to share Philip's incredible recovery journey after an intensive rehabilitation programme.

This week, at our Cambridgeshire rehab community, we’re delighted to share the incredible story of Philip Haines, who has shown immense bravery and resilience in his recovery journey.


Philip Haines, an 88-year-old former secretary to the Anglican Diocese of Peterborough, recently underwent an intensive 16-week rehabilitation programme at our rehab centre which enabled him to regain mobility on his left side, following a stroke in October 2020.

Caused by a blood clot which starved a portion of his brain of oxygen, the stroke – professionally known as a cerebral infarction – left Philip with dense left hemiplegia, meaning he was unable to move his left arm and leg. While the blood clot was successfully removed, the stroke caused Philip to have cognitive challenges and difficulty in swallowing.

Philip came to Askham Rehab from Peterborough City Hospital in November, where he was assessed by our multidisciplinary team and set clear goals, before being put on a specialist four-month programme specific to his needs.

Sara Neaves, our Clinical Lead and Outpatients Service Manager at Askham Rehab, said: “Philip had access to all four of our disciplines; clinical psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. It was clear from day one that Philip knew exactly what he wanted to achieve. This enabled us to set patient-centred goals with him, ensuring he was part of the process throughout his journey with us.”

Philip was able to make use of our robotics and sensor assisted technology in his recovery. He used the MYRO table, a sensor-based surface with interactive applications, to aid upper limb movement and focus on balance, coordination, and cognitive training. Philip also performed mirror therapy, hands-on therapy and functional tasks as part of his tailored programme, which soon led to a significant improvement in his mobility.

Sara continued: “Philip was fully independent before his stroke and enjoyed walking into Peterborough city centre every day for his lunch, so he was determined to get back on his feet. He swiftly improved the mobility of his left upper limb through the use of our robotics and mirror therapy, and was soon able to transfer using a Molift with the assistance of two. He also improved his swallowing through oral motor techniques and no longer needed thickener in his fluids.”

Philip, who returned home in late April after completing the programme, said: “The stroke knocked me for six and changed my life dramatically, but every day I was met with a group of very enthusiastic physiotherapists who were trying to bring some life back into my left side.”

Born and educated in Derby, Philip left school and did his National Service in the Navy before moving to London where he worked for 12 years in finance. He then moved to Hereford to work for Bulmer’s Cider for another 12 years, before finally settling in Peterborough as the secretary of the Anglican Diocese of Peterborough.

A keen listener of Peterborough Cathedral Choir throughout his 20-year retirement, Philip still lives in the cathedral’s precinct and is glad to be back on his feet.

He continued: “This whole journey has been a completely new experience, it’s almost like a rebirth. You always try to be positive, but it’s inevitable that you go through periods of feeling low. The team’s enthusiasm helped pick me up during those low points. We got on fine, they were very helpful, and it was a real group effort in trying to bring life back into my muscles.”

Sara said: “It has been extremely rewarding to see Philip come this far. He had a positive outlook on his rehabilitation journey with us from the offset. His sister has also been an excellent support to him and due to our patient-centred care, his individualised programme has worked to his goals. We’re delighted he’s now able to get back out and head into town again for his lunch outings with friends.”

Aliyyah-Begum Nasser, our Director, said: “Philip’s journey at Askham encompasses what Stroke Awareness Month is all about; highlighting the strategies to improve the quality of life for persons recovering from the condition. Our family-run community, which has more than 30 years’ experience, including 10 years of neurological rehabilitation expertise, prides itself on having comprehensive and specialist programmes in place to ensure those undergoing rehabilitation with us receive structured, high-quality care with a holistic approach.”


At our Cambridgeshire rehab community, we’re always welcoming new residents and staff into our growing family. For further information, please contact 01354 740269.

Would you like to join our growing team? Find out how you can apply for a role at Askham Rehabilitation via our careers page.

Alternatively, why not find out how you can join our online support community?