Julia's Recovery at PhysioFunction Clinic
Julia had her stroke at the end of January 2019. As a result of the stroke, she was left paralysed on her left side and unable to swallow. During her time in hospital, after asking the speech therapists what they could do, her daughters helped Julia exercise every day. Thankfully, her swallow returned; meaning that she did not need to be fitted with a peg for feeding.
Julia was not discharged from hospital for two and half months. During this time, her daughters kept her left side moving to stop it stiffing. Unfortunately, the stroke ward was very busy, and she didn’t receive the five sessions of physio a week as per the NHS guidance.
Upon discharge, for a short time, Julia was seen by the NHS ‘community stroke team’. Looking back, it appears they did not give Julia hope. The NHS physio talked about a 12-week window for recovery and after that recovery stalled. Yet, they researched that recovery CAN continue after this if patients try to engage the brain’s neurons with different rehabilitation exercises.
When Julia came home she couldn’t weight bear on her affected leg, so she needed the use of a hoist for transfers from her bed to the chair in the daytime. Carers were employed to attend four times a day.
One of Julia’s daughters found PhysioFunction on the internet and read their positive testimonials. The Northampton clinic had equipment to give Julia a chance to improve.
Once they had a WAV car, one of the first journeys was an appointment with PhysioFunction. What a difference this made. Michelle Taite, Julia’s physio, was a beacon of hope & positivity.
Driving to the first appointment they were all nervous. They chatted on the journey and said that ‘they’ would just give it a go! Michelle, her wonderful physio, had Julia vertical for the first time in six months using the marvellous equipment at the clinic. They went home that day with hope uplifted that professional rehab could definitely make a difference.
All the staff were genuinely friendly and encouraging. A warm feeling pervaded the clinic.
Julia was initially unable to do any independent weight bearing on her affected left leg at the clinic. Yet, with Michelle Taite, the physio, this improved. Michelle got Julia doing exercises with the ‘Mo-Lift’ equipment to strengthen her leg. Michelle advised them to get a Mo-Lift, which they duly did. This wouldn’t have happened without Michelle’s advice. Now Julia’s daughters can help with the transfers at home using the Mo-lift and they no longer need carers coming in. Her brain has improved so that with her family’s help she is able to transfer from the bed to her wheelchair without the hoist. The Mo-Lift is also very useful to practice weight bearing exercises, that Michelle suggested, at home between appointments.
During lockdown they continued with the Mo-Lift. PhysioFunction enabled Julia’s rehab to continue during lockdown with the option of professional ‘tele rehab’ sessions over zoom. Julia duly completed rehab ‘homework’ exercises suggested by the physios between the zoom sessions.
Michelle has kept the clinic sessions fresh and incrementally challenges Julia to enable continued improvements in her recovery. The ‘E-stim’ equipment is used at home most days on Julia’s arms & legs on the advice of Michelle at the clinic.
With continued guidance and support from PhysioFunction Julia has made lots of small steps in recovery, but these are BIG gains in Julia’s day to day life. Age has not been a barrier at 80 for this Galway Girl!
For more information about the Stroke Association UK https://www.stroke.org.uk/