John’s Story

John Gaimster the Super Hero

John is a strong willed, motivated gentleman with a good sense of humour.

John is a 56 year old gentleman who had two episodes of strokes in 2012 and 2013. Prior to this he had brain surgery due to bleeding in his brain over 20 years ago, he also has a history of epilepsy.

When he first attended his physio sessions he asked me to teach him how to fly and I said “First, let me help you walk again”.

There has been much laughter and occasional tears due to excitement when achieving something for the first time in our sessions over a period of 4 years. For a person with long list of neurological problems John succeed, he attended Super hero challenge and did us all proud. He now spends a lot of time outdoors, doing walks and participating in a wide range of challenging outdoor activities with the help of his brilliant support worker.

Challenges and Objectives:

John has profound sensory, visual, hearing and other cognitive difficulties. Prior to attending Tops he was wheelchair dependent and was able to walk approximately 10 metres with the help of a walking aid as well as another person. He was dependent in most of his activities of daily living. He couldn’t use his left arm and hand. He had extensive soft tissue restrictions on his affected side.

John`s initial physiotherapy management was aimed at improving his adaptive muscle shortening with myofascial release techniques and postural management, along with targeting muscle weakness on his left side of his body with weight bearing and strength training exercises. The sessions were also aimed at correcting his midline orientation and sensory integration.

We used the Lite Gait to practise his walking. Lite Gait supported his body weight, helping John to gain confidence. He was able to practice more rhythmical and faster walks. He was able to practice dynamic balance exercises, turning his body to look around, this is helping his compensatory fixation of his neck to improve. Since starting training on the Lite gait his midline orientation and trunk activity have improved.

John still attends his physiotherapy sessions every fortnight with his support worker. He continues with his outdoor activities and he is able to do long walks with supervision only without walking aids 40 minutes is his longest. John has recently started practising functional activities at home for the first time such as vacuuming his living room.

These are his words:

What challenges were you experiencing prior to using Tops Fitness and Rehabilitation services?

Lack of function to the whole left side of my body causing me to transport entirely with the use of a wheelchair. I relied heavily on all my support staff to assist with my needs.

How is the service helping you?

I have gained in confidence and I am gaining natural movement. Through my rehabilitation journey I feel more positive and I feel I am finding myself again.

In what ways have your achievements enhanced your function and quality of life?

I feel alive again. My confidence is back and I am progressing well towards my goals.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

During all of my appointments the staff have been very helpful, positive and professional. All the clients seem to leave in a positive frame of mind. I personally feel I am achieving my potential after each visit. I leave fatigued but very happy knowing I am progressing all the time.

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