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Testimonials

Catherine O’Hara

My 80 year old father suffered from a stroke in February 2014, he was left half paralyzed and discharged from hospital after 5 months as they concluded that he had regained as much mobility and speech as was possible.

Shortly after entering a Nursing Home, Lorena Degue came on board as my father’s Occupational Therapist. Her enthusiasm, dedication, charisma and professionalism have contributed to a remarkable improvement in my father’s condition and self confidence. He now is able to pull himself up into a standing position, use the bathroom in private and communicate on his pc. Lorena encouraged him to join the whole family for Christmas dinner. She listened to his worries and fears about the event and reacted accordingly. He is now planning trips to the cinema and art galleries. Lorena has a deft ability to juggle all parties without ruffling any feathers, whilst giving absolute priority to her patient.

Andrea

My name is Andrea. I am 34 years old. I ‘m a hotel administrator and have been working in this profession since I was 19.

I contracted meningitis when I was 27 and as a consequence I had myelitis, which caused a spinal cord injury at level dorsal 5. Since that moment I have had no movement or sensation in my legs and need to mobilize in a wheelchair.

After being in an acute hospital for one month, I went to a rehab centre where I started the rehab process and came across occupational therapy for the first time. I could see for the first time the importance of Occupational Therapy in helping a person to recover from an illness such as mine, as well as other illnesses and conditions.

With the help of the occupational therapists I learned that there are other ways to do the activities that I have been doing for my whole life in a certain way. Now I have to learn to do them in a different way. I learnt again from scratch to do all the most basic, fundamental activities such as dressing and showering to more advanced activities such as leaving my home and going out into the community and, finally, returning to work.

Among the goals that I planned with my Occupational Therapist was to recover my independence in dressing, grooming, cooking, organizing my house to have the things I use in my everyday life at easy reach, to be able to mobilize in my wheelchair on the streets, to transfer from my wheelchair to the bed, shower and to cars.

During my treatment sessions we organized my outgoings into the community for such things as ordinary shopping trips. We went shopping one time which was a whole new experience for me. My OT also helped me to use public transport again as a part of my reintegration into daily life. We also analysed and organised adaptations to my house and work-place to facilitate my return to every-day activities.

When I was discharged from the rehab centre, I returned to work and adapted my car from manual to automatic which allows me to drive all over. I recovered my full independence to do all my activities of daily living and I reclaimed the social life that I had before my illness.

Lorena Degue, my OT, helped me to achieve full independence in all aspects of my life. She is not only an excellent professional with the knowledge and expertise to fulfil her role but she is also an excellent person with the necessary abilities of listening, understanding and sharing her knowledge in ordinary language with her patients. This was all very important for me to help me to assimilate what had happened to me and enable me to move on.

Currently, we are analysing together the details and specifications regarding proposed adaptations that I will need to move to a new home and live on my own. These are achievements that I have been able to achieve with the help of Lorena and occupational therapy.

Luis

My name is Luis; I’m a 34 years old radio producer for a political and economic news programme. I had a stroke when I was 28 years old. After discharge from the acute phase of my treatment, I was admitted to a rehab centre where I stayed for two and a half months to complete my recovery.

The right-side of my body was substantially paralysed. I was physically weak and wasn’t able to walk, to move my right upper limb with freedom, to reach or manipulate things with my right hand.
In the rehab centre, I started treatment with my occupational therapists, physical therapist and other professionals.

My OTs helped me to regain independence in activities such as dressing and eating. They helped me to improve the coordination of my movements with my right arm and engage in high-dexterity movements of my hands and fingers.

As I was recovering movement in my body, my OTs educated me in the best way to use my body to facilitate proper motor learning while doing daily activities, which would help me later in my full recovery and specially not to have what they called compensatory movements.

With the help and support of my family, girlfriend and dedication of my OTs I could recover the movements of my upper limb and later on I was physically recovered. The next step was to go back to my daily life.

I remember the OT treatment as the area where I would find help and support to go back to my old routine. My OTs helped me to go back to work, to do leisure activities that I liked before and to regain all the roles of my life. All the activities that were part of my normal routine were now a big challenge.

The inclusion of my family in the rehab process was important both for me and for them; OT helped us through education on what was happening to me, which was new for me and my family.

The motivation my OTs gave me was important in the progression of my recovery; they helped me to realize that I could eventually recover my abilities. They gave me the hope that I needed at that stage of my life when everything was too difficult for me.

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    Stradbrook Road
    Blackrock
    Co.Dublin
    Ireland

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    Email: lorena@stepforward.ie Phone: (087) 1803108