This afternoon two really good friends came to visit us, and they brought along their 6 week old son. We hadn’t seen a baby for a long long time and especially not such a gorgeous young boy. Neither had Pádraig.


The two of them got on really well together. Pádraig was absolutely delighted to meet his youngest new friend and couldn’t believe how small, lovely, and cute the little boy was (neither could I:). Look at his face! No sure what the little boy was thinking, but they seemed to like each other:)

Back in Germany, it’s tempting to compare how neuro rehab works in Germany and in Ireland. Is it tempting to say all is great in Germany, all is bad in Ireland? Well…

There are aspects that are definitely more up-to-date in Germany. For example, Germany has signed the UN Declaration of the Rights of Persons with Disability. There are no lunacy acts from the 19th century still in place. I haven’t found a therapy centre like the one in Pforzheim in Ireland. – At the same time, I haven’t found a therapy centre like the one in Pforzheim in other parts of Germany….

And thinking about Ireland… there are loads of aspects that could be improved, to put it mildly, but there are also professionals in Ireland who have contributed very, very significantly to Pádraig’s recovery. Take the therapist who got Pádraig to use the switch. Take the professionals who prepared the meals for Pádraig really consolidating his oral food intake. Or the professionals working now on his communications using technology, or even music. These are just examples of help that enabled Pádraig to make huge progress. And they happened in Ireland.

At the end of the day there are ‘systems’ – for which we are responsible collectively. And there are people who we will not change. Some are enthusiastic, full of energy, extremely professional, completely trustworthy and transparent – others are ‘just’ doing their jobs. People are people and there are brilliant people and average people in any country. What is important is that the right people are put into the right position, and removed from positions that do not suit them.

So, although it might be tempting, painting the world in black and white doesn’t work. It’s more complicated than that.