Speciality: Wheelchair Services
Location: Hertfordshire, Beds and Herts
Speciality: Inpatient Mental Health
Location: London, London
Occupational therapy has played a major part in the recovery process of a young girl who nearly died three years ago after a freak accident involving a collapsing bollard.
The faulty bollard in Lymington cased Connie Walker, who was then six, to fall to the ground as she attempted to leapfrog over it. As she fell she hit her head on the pavement.
She was left with a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain, and was saved by emergency surgery at Southampton general hospital.
Now aged nine, she has made a substantial recovery and according to the Daily Mirror, she has now joined the school cross-country team.
She was able to give the thumbs up on her seventh birthday and has gradually improved, with occupational therapy being supplemented by speech and language therapy and play therapy as part of a tailored programme designed by the Children's Trust to help her specific needs.
Her father Richard, who helped raise money for her treatment through a charity Tough Mudder event, paid tribute to staff who had cared for their daughter, noting that they were very "factual" about the situation.
"All that was said was that the range of future possibilities was so great and each injury was different, and so we simply continued to hope," he noted.
The case highlights how occupational therapy can be tailored to a range of different patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, as the level of recovery can be very varied. Some victims, such as the Formula One legend Michael Schumacher, can be left confined to wheelchairs, while others can make full recoveries in time.
In the case of Connie Walker, the latter outcome looks to be on the way, although she still needs some help with her ongoing rehabilitation.
The family are now suing Hampshire County Council for an alleged breach of safety law relating to the bollard that caused the accident.
Written by Alex Franklin Stortford
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