Esther Greene recently completed an intensive rehabilitation programme at VIM Health, learning essential wheelchair techniques, and checking out the equipment in our accessible gym.
Read on to find out how we helped boost Esther’s confidence and gain vital independence skills.
Esther, 24 has used a wheelchair for four years, after treatment for a tumour on her spine meant she became paralysed in her lower half.
A lover of languages, Esther recently graduated from University after studying French and Spanish. Although Esther has used a wheelchair for four years, she hadn’t taken part in any type of training to learn wheelchair skills:
“I sort of figured out a lot of things on my own”, says Esther. “I didn’t have any treatment through the NHS as I had a pressure sore that delayed things, life got in the way and then I was busy with university. But I mostly just learnt how to do things on my own.”
Now Esther has graduated and wants to find employment, she initially had some concerns about getting around: “I’ve started to think about work and was a little worried about how I would get to work or get around in an office – things like that. I also wanted to be able to have the option to go out independently if I want to, and do things like self-transfer to a car.”
Intensive Rehabilitation At VIM Healthcare
“After seeing VIM on Instagram, I decided to get in touch and after an assessment, I was booked in for an intensive rehabilitation course where I would learn wheelchair techniques.”
Esther travelled to our clinic from her home in Essex and spent three days on a bespoke programme whilst stopping nearby in a hotel. The programme our clinicians built for Esther was centred around learning essential techniques for greater independence whilst using a wheelchair:
“The programme covered a lot of wheelchair skills”, says Esther. “We started out practising how to curb hop in the gym using mats, then went outside to practice on the real thing. I learnt how to navigate different types of terrain, going off-road and I even learnt how to do wheelies on different surfaces. It’s been really helpful in building my confidence. I also learnt how to transfer to and from my car independently.”
See the video below for a few clips of Esther learning how to navigate in her wheelchair with VIM Clinical Director, Tom.
Whilst at VIM, Esther also got to check out some of the equipment we use at our neurorehabilitation clinic and our accessible gym.
“We did some floor work inside the gym too where I learnt new things, but one of my favourite parts of the programme was using the standing frame. I haven’t used one before and it felt really good to get out of my chair, stand up and stretch!”
“I enjoyed using the accessible gym – VIM is covering a need in the market by having a gym incorporated into the therapy centre. Unfortunately, I don’t live close enough to the gym to use it regularly, but learning how to use equipment safely from my chair has given me the confidence to join a gym near home, knowing that there are more options available for me to use than I previously thought.”
When asked what she thought overall of her therapy at VIM, here is what Esther had to say:
“I loved it! All the staff were great and helped me learn the skills I needed to be more independent. I feel more confident now using my chair and transferring in and out of the car, I would thoroughly recommend VIM to anyone looking for rehabilitation treatment.”