FORMER footballer Gary Parkinson has taken a step towards recovery after moving his hand.
A year after the 43-year-old was left with locked-in syndrome following a massive stroke, wife Deborah said the first signs of movement have been seen in his fingers.
It is a glimmer of hope for the family, but Mrs Parkinson stressed they are continuing to take Mr Parkinson’s recovery one day at a time.
She said: “It’s just very slight movement. It’s not happening all the time, it’s just a one-off we saw his fingers moving.
“We don’t want people to get carried away with it, there’s still a long way to go and we’ve got to see that movement more often before we can start saying it’s a break-through.”
Mr Parkinson lives in Bolton with his family, played for Burnley and Preston North End in his playing career and was youth coach at Blackpool FC before he fell ill.
He has made progress since and is being cared for in a rehabilitation unit, where he has learnt to communicate with his eyes.
Being “locked-in” means he is aware of everything going on around him but is unable to move or speak.
Mrs Parkinson said: “He’s doing okay, it’s just the frustration and keeping his spirits up.
“He does get down trying to make his body move when it doesn’t because he has been so fit, so that’s the hard part.”
His 18-year-old son, Luke, yesterday took part in the Great North Run to raise money for The Stroke Association and the Gary Parkinson Trust, which has been set up to aid his recovery.
He can be sponsored at the website below.