A hospital’s spinal unit has welcomed new visitors – exotic fish.

North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, took delivery of two fish tanks.

One has been donated by design business Ryu Creative, which is run by a patient at the spinal centre, Ryan Forshaw.

The other has been donated by Aqualease – a Blackburn-based company which supplies fully serviced aquariums to education and health care sectors.

The two fish tanks now have pride of place in a day room used by patients. The day room was officially opened last month.

Emily Hoban, who runs the Spinal Centre, said: “The day room has been total refurbished and now provides a fantastic environment for our patients. We are really grateful to Ryan and the team at Aqualease for donating the fish tanks.”

Ryan, 37 from Leigh near Wigan, was paralysed from the shoulders down after being involved in a serious accident in 1996. He said: “Aquariums are abundant in health care benefits. The donation aims to help fellow patients during their rehabilitation periods.”

Ryan works with Aqualease on its design and marketing and this is how the donation came about.

Dan Green from Aqualease added: “We are delighted to make this donation to the hospital and hope that the patients enjoy watching the fish. Fish tanks can help improve physical and mental wellbeing. We think they will add to the calming atmosphere of the room.”

The North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre cares for people with spinal cord injuries from Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria, Cheshire, parts of North Wales and the Isle of Man.

It is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for the treatment of people with high cervical spinal cord injury.

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