At the age of 18 and in her first year of University, Emily has shown amazing dedication and spirit in progressing her rehabilitation. Despite being very busy, she manages to find the time to put in the hard work and this is reflected in her smashing through her goals!
Emily was first diagnosed with a Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) at the age of 13 and had several years where she spent much of her time in hospital and in and out of therapy appointments. She had a dedicated children’s specialist team supporting her and through a slow and steady approach was able to transition from being largely a full time wheelchair user to being able to walk with the aid of 2 crutches and custom made ankle splints. Whilst FND can cause a vast array of physical symptoms, in the case of Emily’s, some of her biggest challenges were her feet pulling and posturing in a way that made walking extremely difficult and ineffective. Over a long period of time with regular Botulinum Toxin injections, splinting and therapy, Emily was able to stand and bear weight through her feet and legs.
As she turned 18, Emily was referred to us here at ARC. At the beginning of the year, she completed a 3 week intensive block of therapy with physiotherapist Anna Jones, followed by a series of weekly and now monthly appointments. Emily had goals of transitioning from her very rigid ankle splints to simple contoured shoe insoles, reducing her reliance on her 2 crutches and being able to do things that may seem simple, such as getting up off the floor and opening a door whilst carrying a drink.
With a lack of feeling throughout her legs and feet, Emily has had to work very hard to relearn movement control and improve motor output and has been a willing participant along the way to try varied and sometimes bizarre exercises!
Emily’s enthusiasm for sessions is certainly contagious and her commitment to her home program is outstanding. She is without a doubt reaping the benefits of this, now being able to walk around the gym and her home with her shoe insoles and no walking sticks or crutches!
She has also ticked off many other goals including; to be able to get off the floor without using her hands, standing barefoot to brush her teeth without holding on, walking outside in her shoe insoles using a single crutch and going up and down the stairs with a single rail, or even no rail in therapy! Emily’s new goals now include activities such as hopping, jogging, carrying items in 2 hands up the stairs and fun exciting goals such as travelling with friends and driving!
Emily, we are just so proud of you and thrilled not only with how far you have come but also to see what the next 12 months and beyond holds for you.
This gold star is in recognition both of your own superhuman efforts and positive outlook and also of the fantastic support of your family around you!