Joanne at Heather Hosue

Joanne's story

“Joanne’s sense of humour is beautiful! She is always joking and making you laugh."

Anna, one of the physiotherapists at SeeAbility’s Heather House, loves working with Joanne. When she talks about Joanne, her face lights up. Joanne's close bond with her physiotherapist, Anna, has been essential in keeping her active and mobile.

A partnership

The two have built a great partnership based on mutual trust and respect. It’s a trust and respect that has arisen through working closely together through some difficult times. Joanne has a rare neurological condition which means she can have frequent episodes of paralysis on one side of her body.

Joanne cycling with Anna

Anna explains:

"When Joanne is feeling stressed or tired or even very happy, her brain cannot cope and she has an episode of paralysis."

When Joanne first moved in, every time she went to the gym to meet Anna, she would get very excited and have an episode after just a few minutes. She would miss her session, so the next session would feel completely new and she’d have another episode.

However Anna believes that her team’s support of Joanne through these times has helped build a bond between them.

“Joanne understood we were going to stay with her and support her. She started to trust us and understand that we’re good people!”

Keeping mobile

Anna is determined to keep Joanne as mobile and as independent as possible, so she’s carefully tailored the support to develop ways for Joanne to exercise when she’s still recovering. She explains:

"If you’re sitting all the time, your brain thinks you don’t need your feet and they start losing their range of movement. Joanne can walk so we need to make sure she keeps walking, to prevent her getting deformities in her legs and to keep her independent."

When Joanne is well, gym sessions are active and exciting.

“There are no barriers! We come up with lots of different exercises to do with her and she just loves it.”

Joanne working out with Anna

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