Comedian Stevo Timothy hopes to inspire others by learning to walk again
Comedian Stevo Timothy says he wants to inspire others struggling with disabilities as they struggle to walk unaided again.
The Galway man has had to use crutches or a wheelchair since a motorbike accident left him partially paralyzed 17 years ago.
He said EXTRA.ie how he clearly remembers lying in his hospital bed at the National Rehabilitation Hospital after his accident and not having a clue what he was going to do next.
“I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do after my accident, so I would have loved to have someone to turn to for inspiration, which is part of what I try to do. now,” he explained.
“I had very limited sensation from the waist down, which feels like someone taped my head and shoulders to a board.”
But that all changed for the former painter who struck comedy gold when he came up with his character, Farmer Michael, while ‘bored out of my head’.
“I just asked my brother to film me one day and I came out with this character who is stereotypically stupid, gets the facts wrong but references popular culture,” he explained.
“My father is from Roscommon and my mother from Mayo, so I have a rural background.
“I know a lot of people like Michael who are still convinced they are right.”
With his rising profile helped by an appearance on The Late Late Show, where Stevo opened up about alcohol abuse and his crippling anxiety, the 40-year-old hopes his journey will help others.
He has hired filmmaker Ger Walsh to follow him on a journey he plans to take at least 12 months and set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of the project.
The first hurdle was having his leg scanned to see if the muscles could be improved and luckily he had some good news – they are weak but responsive.
This means he has a real chance of getting to a point where he can walk again using just a cane, but it will take a lot of hard work.
However, Stevo says he’s determined to act now rather than risk waiting until it’s too late.
“I turned 40 at Christmas and I thought I hadn’t done anything for the last ten years and if I don’t do it for another ten years it might not happen,” he said. .
“I wasn’t sure all my muscle groups were activating because right now I’m dragging my right leg behind me, but once the muscle isn’t dead there’s hope.
“I don’t think I’m going to do the 110m hurdles, but if I can walk unaided from the car to the store I’ll take it because at the moment I’m using two canes.”
Stevo has already started his journey by doing an hour of physical therapy a day and visiting a physical therapist three times a week while improving his diet.
He says he’s also looking for a neurophysiotherapist who knows what he’s doing and is willing to “kick him in the hole” when he’s lazy.
In the past, he admits he was not always comfortable being considered disabled and insisted on hiding his crutches during his video skits.
“I used to feel like my disability was a stain on me, but I’m big on it now because I’ve learned that dealing with a disability is the biggest test you can give a human” , did he declare.
Giving a message of hope to the disabled community which he describes as the ‘largest minority in Ireland’ is also a huge motivation.
“The fear of spreading a message of desperation puts extra pressure on me to fight and put my all into it,” he added.