As a physiotherapist, one of the greatest joys you can receive is when your patient improves their mobility. Now imagine helping a patient with progressive multiple sclerosis improve enough to be able to walk their daughter down the aisle on her wedding day.
That’s exactly what happened to John Kendrick from the UK who’s mobility had been deteriorating since his diagnosis 14 years ago.
He made a promise to his daughter that despite his condition we would improve enough to walk her down the aisle, which “meant everything” to him.
In order to achieve this goal, he searched for any trials and studies that involved helping people with multiple sclerosis and landed on one that used standing frames.
"You either give up or you get on with it," John said, in reference to his condition and acceptance of the Plymouth University-led study, "I was putting my hand up for anything... I was determined to take my daughter down the aisle when she got married and using this gave me the strength to be able to walk down the aisle with the help of my daughter and one crutch instead of two crutches."
John believes that without the standing frame he would have not been able to successfully carry out his fatherly duties. He still uses the frame today when watching TV to help maintain his improvements.
Led by Professor Jenny Freeman the study was focused on helping those that were unable to walk more than 20m at a time. The feedback she has received has been very positive. "We got back wonderful stories of how they had really valued standing in the frame," Prof Freeman said, "It is a really simple intervention and it is not costly at all".
With the positive feedback from many users of the standing frame, especially the heart-warming story of John and his daughter, there is a newfound hope for patients with multiple sclerosis to improve mobility.
Perhaps this should be implemented and trialled in Australia as well! What did you think about this story? Let us know in the comments below.