top of page

Let Us Introduce You to Keith Taylor our Longest Serving Oxygen Operator

Updated: Apr 29



My name is Keith Taylor. I am 83 years old and very proud to have been the Senior Oxygen Operator and now support Angela Ball in that role, here at The Brightwell.


My involvement with the Charity goes back over 40 years to the early 1980s. My beloved wife Pat was diagnosed with MS in 1973, and at that time there was no provision or treatment on the NHS for MS. After diagnosis, people were sent home and expected to just get on with living with this cruel condition!


We both decided that this was wholly unacceptable and to look for our own forms of therapy. We both looked at things from a “scientific” perspective, I had studied at first Biology and later, Chemistry and was managing the Sewage Treatment Works based in the Yeo Valley and Pat was the Lead Pharmacist at the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital. We read about the successful use of Oxygen Therapy and in 1983, Pat began to go to Exeter to use the tank there, this was quite difficult to do juggling family, work, and travel.


At the time, Oxygen Therapy was the only positive response to helping with MS that we could find, and the physiology made sense to both of us. I looked at the possibility of setting up our own unit in the garage but soon realised that the proposed set up would not be suitable. Shortly after that I was introduced to a lady called Jackie Brightwell who was looking at setting up a chamber for those living with MS, including her husband, in the Bristol area. Jackie was part of a group called Action and Research for MS (ARMS), a breakaway group from the MS Society. So, with the commitment of a dedicated local group, money was raised to find premises in Nailsea near Bristol and purchase a chamber and its associated equipment from a company called Diveline in Ipswich – that “tank” is the one we are still using today at the Bradley Stoke Centre! The Centre was originally called the "Bristol Branch of ARMS" but when ARMS went into liquidation, we became a charity on our own, The West of England MS Therapy Centre. The Charity formed at that time is still supporting those living with MS and other neurological conditions today.


Over the years that followed my passion to help those living with MS continued and we were able to introduce Physiotherapy and other therapies. I was for a long time a member of the Centre Management Committee and It became apparent that the Centre had outgrown the Nailsea site. A team of like-minded people, including Doro Pasantes, our CEO, Jackie, and our Chair at that time Peter Miller set up The Moonstone Trust with investors to raise over £1 million to build our current facility on land leased to us by South Gloucestershire Council.


Sadly, Pat passed away in 2010, so didn’t see the new Centre open but she would have been100% behind the project to achieve our goal and the Centre we are now all so proud of is the result. I was so delighted that the Centre was renamed The Brightwell a few years ago. Jackie remained an active Trustee and supporter until she was well in her 80s and an inspiration to all of us. Although Jackie is no longer with us, her legacy lives on through every person who benefits from being in that tank.


I live in Yatton, in the same house since 1971, and love my community. Pat and I raised our two boys here and I am now the proud Grandad to four wonderful grandchildren, all of whom are relatively local to me. I have, until recently, been an active member of our local Chapel and Rotary and hope that I am a supportive friend and neighbour in our local community of Yatton and beyond.


I feel truly privileged that over the years, I have worked with, and helped train, numerous Volunteers. whose level of commitment and passion is quite overwhelming. I have been a Regional Training Advisor, now called Oxygen National Advisor, working with other Centres. Recently I have been involved with others in the setting up of the standards and training programmes for the Neuro Therapy Network, formerly known as the MS National Therapy Centres. These programmes offer standards, operational guidelines, and new training modules for about 50 Centres across the UK, Gibraltar, and Jersey.  How things have moved forwards over the years!


I am still passionate today about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and the great work carried out at The Brightwell. I am always pleased to see members, new and old, benefitting from their experiences at The Brightwell and in Oxygen Therapy and hope that they enjoy becoming part of the Brightwell family because it is such a positive and rewarding place.


Personally, I cannot begin to say how much being involved with The West of England MS Therapy Centre has meant to me over the years.  I have made so many genuine friends and met so many inspirational people who have become part of my life for which, I am deeply grateful. I look forward to every time I am “on duty “and miss being there when I’ve been unwell or unable to attend.


Please come and say hello if you see me at the Centre and I’m always available for any questions about the treatment or volunteer training.

Best Wishes to everyone.

Keith

 

 

 

 

158 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating

What a wonderful story - of a wonderful man!

We all owe you a huge debt of gratitude Keith.

Like
bottom of page