Nicky sustained a stroke as a result of maxillofacial surgery in April 2018. She has previously had a tumour removed 15 years earlier, and was in hospital for her second surgical appointment, for smile restoration. Due to complications in the surgery she had an interruption to her blood supply and she was left with a marked hemiplegia on her right side. Her speech was affected and she was taken in acute NHS care for her recovery.

It was in the acute setting that Nicky came to our attention; she had progressed to standing and was starting to work in recovering her walking. The issue remained with weakness in the right ankle limiting her walking ability. MOTIONrehab completed a joint session with the NHS physiotherapists to look the use of electrical stimulation to help lift and lower her foot when walking. This helps balance and stepping. Working with the NHS we established that a FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) would be of benefit for Nicky’s walking. It would allow her ankle to move in the correct sequence and provide safety and stability to her walking, and untimely her independence.

Nicky was discharged from acute care and went home, keen to continue with her rehabilitation she came to MOTIONrehab, alongside her community NHS physiotherapy provision. Through joint working between NHS, MOTIONrehab and crucially Nicky herself,  shared goals were identified. MOTIONrehab were able to offer our expertise to help focus on the paralysis in her right arm and hand.

Nicky utilised technology such as the Saebo glove and the Saebo stretch to assist with management of the right upper limb. She also attended therapy sessions with MOTIONrehab, where the focus was aimed at regaining function back in her hand and arm. A wide array of techniques were used to regain appreciation and movement of the arm. This was then integrated to enable Nicky to use her right hand and arm in day to day tasks. The whole approach was supported with repetition and home exercises to enhance her recovery.

Nicky gained more use of her right arm, being able to grip release with a gross grasp, and had recovered some control of her wrist. She was keen to regain even more movement and ultimately her independence.

Nicky then moved her treatment from the MOTIONrehab team in Hull to participate in the Intensive Rehabilitation Programme augmented by robotics and VR rehabilitation technology at the MOTIONrehab clinic in Leeds. Nicky attended for assessment and then self-funded the programme at the centre.

“It was hard in the first week I was so tired I got in the car and slept all the way back to Hull,”

“I was able to build a relationship with the team, especially Matt, and used this as my motivation to show them what I could do”

“The second week felt easier and I started to look forward to the challenge of the 4 days of intensity”

“If I had the choice again, I would 100% make that decision”

Nicky completed her time at the intense rehabilitation centre and has continued with her recovery. She no longer requires her FES device and reported she had recently been on holiday to Cornwall where she had managed to walk up a sand dune.

She regularly goes out alone and walks the dog, and has returned to her role as a house keeper, supporting her husband and children.

She is able to now use the right arm in functional tasks and continues to challenge herself with a Home exercise programme of functional challenges. Watch her video to see how well she has progressed.

Well done Nicky!

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