Rugby barber on road to recovery after rare condition left him 'locked in' and fighting for his life

“I had to learn how to walk, talk, eat and move independently all over again”
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A well-known Rugby barber is on the road to recovery after nearly losing his life to a rare autoimmune disorder.

Matt Robinson was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome - a condition that causes the body's immune system to attacks the nerves – last year.

He spent seven months in ICU and endured many gruelling rehabilitation sessions.

Matt was fighting for his life.Matt was fighting for his life.
Matt was fighting for his life.

Matt, who owns Mister Robinson's Barber Shop in the town, said: “It’s a rare condition that turns off the central nervous system causing you to ‘lock in’, basically die, and go into comatose while the body shuts down.

"I was in a lot of pain and I lost a lot of weight. I was kept alive on observation and when I woke I had to learn how to walk, talk, eat and move independently all over again.”

Guillain-Barre syndrome often begins with tingling and weakness starting in the feet and legs and spreads to your upper body and arms.

As Guillain-Barre syndrome progresses, muscle weakness can turn into paralysis.

On the road to recovery.On the road to recovery.
On the road to recovery.

After a lengthy stay in hospital last year, Matt was allowed home.

“That’s why I was approached by Helen Taylor,” Matt went on.

"She offered me hyerbaric oxygen therapy for what she believed was a way I could encourage my body’s healing and speed up the recovery. I was told I could end up feeling like a 90 year old, I was 43 at the time. The alternative was taking two to three years to recover and possibly end up with life-altering symptoms.”

Matt felt he had nothing to lose and took Helen up on her offer.

Matt walking back to happiness with son Dutch.Matt walking back to happiness with son Dutch.
Matt walking back to happiness with son Dutch.

“I firmly believe with Helen’s help my recovery took less than six months and I’m back to 90 per cent back to my old self. Without the oxygen therapy, I’m certain I wouldn’t have recovered as fast.”

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) is a non-invasive, painless treatment which involves breathing pure oxygen at higher than atmospheric pressures in an enclosed chamber. This process causes oxygen to be absorbed by all body fluids and by all body cells and tissues, even those with blocked or reduced blood flow.

Matt said: “I still have bad days, but I can live with them a lot better.

"Helen is always checking on my progress. She’s an angel on this earth and I swear I have no idea how to repay someone for that kind of kindness. I also have nothing but praise for the nurses at University Hospital’s ICU in Coventry and Leamington Rehab Centre who taught me to walk again.”

Matt, a father of four children, still has some paralysis and fatigue issues.

"My health is good though and God is great. My family are in debt to all the help we received over the last two plus years and like I say I just hope someone else can benefit from the treatments like I did. All of my consultants were amazed by the transformation in such a short time and I’m now fully discharged from care working and trying to enjoy life.

“I just hope that other people with similar experience can get the help as it is out there.”

House of Evexia is based in Railway Terrace, Rugby. To find out more, visit

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