Table tennis is a ‘miracle’ for Parkinson’s patient

Author:
Rebecca Hughes

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Please note - this news article was published more than six months ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Parkinson’s patient Philip Batchelor stands in his kitchen, his shoulders slumped forward, and his hands shaking. The 76-year-old struggles with what was once a simple task for him – making a cup of coffee.

“My balance, my agility, my sense of timing, all of these things no longer function in the way I was accustomed to,” he says as he is unable to keep the coffee granules on the spoon.

“It’s like having to come to terms with a new type of me that is not able to do a whole lot of things that I always thought I could do.

“What I’m going to do now is get a tea bag and give up on a coffee,” he adds.

However, moments later, holding a table tennis bat, Philip is transformed and a sense of his old, active self returns.

“Table tennis has been like a miracle for me,” he said.

“It is an extraordinary, unique experience in my day.

“I’m waiting for the serve and as soon as the ball comes, I’m into a rhythm and a timing which seems to be completely not affected by the shaking.

“When I play table tennis, it’s like a little bit of sunlight comes chinking through.

“I am free. I am in touch with my body.

“It gives me a sense of my balance and my coordination and rhythm and timing and that’s an extraordinary feeling and that’s the gift for me.”

Philip’s moving story has been documented in the short video by self-shooting director Rufus Exton. It was created as part of a fundraising campaign to enable Philip to purchase a program from the USA, which in unavailable on the NHS, and which he hopes will help will remove the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

To find out more about the fundraising campaign, click here.

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