Luke Waters Performance Coaching: Eric's neuro-pathway therapy to teach him to walk
Eric was never supposed to walk, until the age of 10 Eric had spent his entire life in a motorised wheelchair. If it was not for the persistence of Eric’s mother, the consistent progress of physical therapy with myself and the sheer determination of Eric he would probably still be in that wheelchair. Yet today Eric can walk and complete many of the daily activities we take for granted to care for himself. The freedom Eric has achieved with his strong support team and daily sessions with me is priceless and he is my inspiration for living to my highest potential.
Eric required resuscitation when he was born and a further two months in intensive care. He wasn’t expected to survive. This trauma at birth and in the first few weeks of his life resulted in the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy (CP). As a baby, Eric could not crawl or sit up. He had no fine motor skills and had problems with the motility of the oesophagus which affected his reflexes in eating, drinking and breathing. The prognosis did not look promising for Eric and his mother started to consider what alternative options existed outside traditional medicine to improve her son’s quality of life.
After reading about victims of motor vehicle accidents, Eric’s Mother sought expertise in neuro-pathway rehabitation which was in 2005 still considered alternative and not recommended by doctors. This is where my relationship with Eric begun. We started neuro-pathway therapy when Eric was eight years old, beginning with baby movements such as, spinning on a chair, mountain climbers and hand and knee crawling. I progressively included primal movements training, joint stability strength work and stationary bike to develop his gross motor skills. We also worked on Eric’s fine motor activities such as, pincer grip and palmar grasp. Eric first walked with his frame in 2008.
However, his journey has not been without setbacks with major surgery in 2010 to lengthen his hamstrings and in July 2011 he underwent double tibular osteotomies. But Eric persevered and first walked without his frame in 2010 after he had recovered from the hamstring adjustment. By the end of 2010 Eric could get himself on and off the ground which was a major goal as he often fell when learning to walk and he needed to be able to get himself up. Today Eric gets himself out of bed, dresses and meets me in his studio and we continue to work on his postural stability, walking and fine motor skills in his hands. Eric recently told the doctors he is no longer interested in drug therapy or surgery because to him life is perfect.
Eric now wants to give back and pay forward all the love and support he receives from those who support him in his health and well-being. Over the past few months I have incorporated new exercises for Eric to prepare him for this challenging climb see Eric training here. Scaling the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a goal that Eric holds close to his heart and for him it is not just about raising awareness and money for conditions that affect his friends and family, it is a representation of the large obstacles Eric has and will continue to encounter and overcome. Please support him in his journey. Visit Eric's website here.