A CHEF from Gourock has told how he fought back from a freak spinal injury which almost left him paralysed and also overcame dyslexia to make his dreams come true.
Adrian Magnano had been on course to fulfil a lifelong ambition and graduate with a degree in hospitality, an achievement he once thought impossible because of his undiagnosed learning disability.
But he was almost stopped in his tracks when he was told that without emergency surgery he could be left unable to walk.
Against all the odds, Adrian was amazingly back on his feet just seven weeks later, went on to finish his degree and is now the chef at Gourock Golf Club as well as running his own catering firm.
The 50-year-old, of Kempock Street, said: “I had been in unbelievable pain for months and it was getting worse.
“It turned out I’d suffered a spinal injury.
“I had a prolapsed disc between the second and third vertebrae which had caused acute compression of the spinal cord, probably as a result of all those years on my feet.”
It finally came to a head when he found himself in so much agony during a lecture he had to lie on the floor.
Adrian said: “I was in so much pain I couldn’t stand up in the lecture room at college and they sent me straight to the Royal Infirmary.
“The doctors told me that if it had been left any longer I could have ended up paralysed in three or four months.
“I was in the middle of studying for my degree but I was back on my feet eight days later.”
After making his full recovery from surgery in October 2015 Adrian went onto finish his degree.
Adrian, originally from Guernsey, had struggled at school and left as soon as he was 15.
He was taken on in a local restaurant and worked his way up from the kitchens.
Despite being very successful and running his own restaurants, Adrian was determined to achieve academic success and complete a degree.
He said: “I wanted to get a degree by the time I was 50 and I have achieved that now.”
His luck changed when he was put on to the City of Glasgow College and lecturer Alistair MacLeod.
They put him through tests and discovered that he was in the top two per cent bracket for intelligence, but was dyslexic.
Adrian added: “I would never have done it without it their support and want to thank my lecturer Alistair MacLeod for all his help.
“I was dismissed at school as lazy and I hated it.
“My mother knew there was something, but it was different days back then.”
While studying Adrian held down a full-time job for three years as a chef, working at nights, supporting his wife Mary, 40, and his family.
Adrian and Mary moved to Gourock to take up the opportunity of setting up his catering firm and working in the golf club, where he has made a huge impact.
He said: “I am delighted to have increased the food sales by 60 per cent.
“I love working in Gourock Golf Club and having my own catering firm.
“It’s the best job in the world.”