Here are some words from Mike Antoniades who worked with Donald through his rehabilitation journey: “I first saw Donald for an assessment after he had been for six weeks rehabilitation at a hospital. Like most stroke patients he had difficulties with his balance and his gait. It was 8 weeks post his stroke.
The first thing we did was teach him how to walk , which is vital to regaining his balance and body control. But more importantly, it gave Donald the confidence that he could progress and improve. The exercises that we use to re-pattern the Movements are not complex and actually of secondary importance to the whole rehabilitation process. Walking is the primary movement that helps us to regain our body control and other cross lateral exercises challenge the brain and the nervous system.
There are three key issues that are very important to the rehab process:
- The first is the technique of the movement. All Movements must be “biomechanically” correct to enable the brain and the nervous system to map the new movement pattern.
- The second issue is one of repetition and frequency. The more the individual practices and repeats the movements the more improvements they will feel and then will be more likely to practice.
- The third and probably the most important is a good mental attitude; You can call it strong willpower, stubbornness or bloody mindedness . The stroke survivors who make the best long term progress are those who don’t give up.
Donald is brilliant! He listens, he practices and he understands that he needs to do his homework hundreds even a thousand times every day. But more importantly he will not allow the stroke to beat him.”