18 September 2018
Three years ago Doug Jones was in the depths of despair.He had a brain tumour the size of a golf ball and faced the serious risk of life-changing disabilities after treatment.Unable to work he also feared he could lose his home. On Wednesday the 40-year-old climbed to the summit of the Matterhorn, one of the highest mountains in Europe. The achievement has been the culmination of what has been a miraculous recovery. He also managed to raised £6,000 for the British Acoustic Neuroma Society.
The last three years has taught Jones a lot about himself, his family and friends, and the importance of financial security.Lying in bed recovering from 12-hours of surgery to remove the tumour, Jones decided to set up his own business. As an experienced physiotherapist, Jones has spent a decade working with some of the country’s top sportsmen and women, but he had always been a one-man show. Two years on dad-of-two Jones is the owner of Altius Healthcare and boasts three practices in his hometown of Hale, Bury and one out of the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance (MIHP) near the Etihad stadium.
Then in 2016 disaster struck.When Jones’s hearing started to go in one ear a scan revealed a benign tumour so big it was pushing on his brain stem. He went under the knife with the warning that removing it could leave him deaf, with serious balance issues, facial paralysis and speech problems. Jones’ recovery was miraculous.Despite having been warned he could be in hospital for weeks, he was out within three days and convalescing back at his in-laws. Although he did lose his hearing in one ear, Jones was completely rehabilitated within three months.
“I’ve always been very active, running, cycling, doing Ironman triathlons and marathons, and I was determined to get back to that level,” he explained. “If anything I got fitter during my recovery.”
Jones took up climbing to aid his recovery, culminating in his climb of the Matterhorn.
The birth of Altius
His new lofty ambitions tie in with his choice of a company name. Altius is Latin for higher. In its first year Jones and Altius won contracts to treat athletes from Team GB Taekwondo and Red Bull UK and Trek Factory Racing and grew its private practice to sustain 12 physiotherapists and health practitioners, including his physio wife Anna. During the recent football World Cup Jones made headlines after it was revealed he treated Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen, getting him fit for the tournament. But for Jones, he’s not just about the elite sportsmen, but everyone. Using sports science techniques Jones and his team developed Sit Strong to help employers cut health problems associated with prolonged sitting and improve the physical health and wellbeing of desk-based workers. He has contracts with Stockport-based Ossur, which develops prosthetics, blades and braces for athletes, and Manchester digital agency Code Computerlove. Jones also recently signed a deal with property company Bruntwood to provide its corporate wellness programme.