Christina walks for the first time in 30 years with Yooralla’s support

Just months after starting work with a Yooralla Physiotherapist towards achieving her NDIS goal of increasing strength and mobility, Christina surprised everyone by her progress when she started walking for the first time in 30 years.

Her father Philip said that he never thought he would see his daughter walk again.

“I love seeing how happy Christina is when she is up and walking,” he said.

Christina, who uses a wheelchair, has been supported by Julia Crosswell, a Yooralla Physiotherapist, to find a walker that suited her specific needs and to learn how to use it.

Julia said this success story is a great example of the NDIS’s individualised approach to participants, and of collaborative work between the NDIS and disability services providers.

“The shift to the NDIS means that participants can work towards their specific goals and get tailored support to achieve these goals. The assistive technology sector has also advanced a lot in recent years and modern walkers can now cater for people with complex needs,” she said.

Christina’s walker has an in-built hoist which makes it easier for her to move from her wheelchair and onto the walker.

Reilly Deacey, Service Manager at the Yooralla home where Christina lives, said this “enormous achievement” is credit to Christina’s character and hard work.

“Christina is an extremely positive, energetic person and with her commitment and focus anything is possible. She used the time spent in lockdown by practicing walking with her new walker every day,” he said.

Her father Philip said the walker was “absolutely brilliant” and “a godsend” for Christina during lockdown.

“It enabled her to maintain her physical skills while her normal physical activities such as swimming were on hold,” he said.

Christina said that being able to use her new walker has enabled her to achieve her other NDIS goals of getting out into the community, increasing independence and exploring activities of interest.

“It has allowed me to feel more in control of my movements and I have enjoyed visiting my friends in the area using the walker. During lockdown my new communication device has allowed me to speak openly with people and instigate conversations, which I have never been able to achieve prior to this year,” she said.

Julia said Christina’s next goal is to learn how to use a modified bike.

“With Christina’s determination, I am confident that we can achieve this goal,” she said.

Yooralla’s Therapy services support adults and children with disability at all ages and life stages. Our flexible and qualified team of experienced therapists provide support in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and psychology.

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