In July 2012 I met an amazing woman with untapped potential. She had a goal – something that for the majority of the population would be an everyday occurrence, something that we would just take for granted and not have to think twice about.
Lissys challenge was after a stroke at the age of one, she then broke her pelvis in 2008 and ended up, not only in a motorised wheelchair, but living in facilitated living accommodation.
Lissy needed the chair to move around. Every day (well, Melbourne weather permitting!), she and one or more friends would go to the local park and travel around.
And this was Lissys goal – initially to walk (with the aid of a frame), but ultimately to walk around the park.
We worked together one session a week. What was inspirational about Lissy, was she did her exercises I gave her every day. She was so keen to walk, however it was important to be patient and safe.
Week 9, she took her first six steps.
As the weeks and months progressed, so did her walking, her endurance and her balance. Lissy worked with determination and courage, and never once lost sight of her ultimate goal. When she took 6 steps, she wanted to walk 8. When she walked for 5 minutes, she then wanted to walk for 10. As time went on, she needed my technical advice and physical support less and less, and progressively became more independant, confident and as a result, happier (& cheekier!).
After an amazing journey of 14 and a half months working together, today Lissy can not only walk around the park, but can also walk there and back!. Lissy can now walk 30 minutes nonstop.
What Lissy has achieved is truly inspirational.
And what does Lissy think? “I’m so glad I’m walking and out of the chair. I also couldn’t have done this without the support of my family and friends who have been there for me. Jo’s been great the whole time and has got me to where I am. Thank you so much.”
As one of her friends said “she has come SO far!”