Getting back into the water with David
DATE: 12 May 2017
When David was a teenager he enjoyed swimming and snorkelling at Rickett’s Point and Half Moon Bay, just south of Melbourne. At 14, David was in a car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury and paralysed down the left side of his body. It also left him unable to swim and snorkel.
Now, 50 years later, and with the support of Doris, one of Yooralla’s physiotherapists, David is finally getting back into the water and hopes to be snorkelling again by summer.
To help David meet his goal, Doris has devised a hydrotherapy program she carries out with the help of David’s two other carers. Together, they regularly take David to his local aquatic centre to ease him back into the water.
“As part of David’s hydrotherapy sessions in the pool, we started with breathing exercises, blowing bubbles, floating and immersing his head under the water,” says Doris. “In the coming months we hope to introduce snorkelling gear to David’s sessions to get him used to the apparatus – and by summer we’re hoping he’s ready to get back into the water at Rickett’s Bay”.
Although David has made great progress in the water, Doris admits that there are still a lot of factors to take into consideration before David gets back into the ocean, including the need for a hoist to lift David into the beach wheelchair that will then take him into the water.
In spite of this, Doris is willing to work hard to support David to achieve his goal.
“We are focused on working hard to achieve the client's goals and often this requires us to think out of the box,” says Doris.
David says that he thoroughly enjoys his time in the pool and is excited to get back into snorkelling again because he greatly enjoys the freedom of being in the water.
“The water provides David with a wonderful freedom of movement and it taps into a lot of his old memory patterns from before his accident. It is also a great medium for David to exercise and also relax as part of his swimming sessions,” says Doris.
Yooralla’s Therapy services support adults and children with disability to enhance their quality of life. Our team of specialists are drawn from across the disciplines of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, nursing and psychology. Working together in multi or transdisciplinary teams, we can provide you with supports to meet your individual goals and needs.
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