An exercise bike funded by Therapy Focus’ GIVE Program is helping Sharon Barber learn to walk again after she suffered a massive stroke in 2013.
Sharon’s Physiotherapist, Carly Baseden, suggested Sharon apply to the charitable program for a grant to purchase a bike to help her develop muscle strength and improve her range of movement.
Sharon was successful and received the Shuriken Recumbent bike, which features a step through frame for easy mount and dismount and a back rest for additional support while riding.
“As I have difficulty with my movements, the bike is very easy for myself to get in and out of independently,” Sharon said.
“The bike also has a performance monitor with 12 programs, which really work my muscles hard.”
In the space of just a few months, the bike has significantly contributed to Sharon’s recovery and rehabilitation, and helped her work toward her goals of using stairs, walking up and down inclines and mastering a normalised walking pattern with independence and confidence.
“My wonderful Physiotherapist, Carly, suggested that an exercise bike would be hugely beneficial to my recovery, and so far it has been amazing” Sharon said.
“I use the bike every day and I have already achieved some goals with Carly’s help and as a result of the extra muscle strength. It has given me so much hope for further progress.”
As she gains more strength and range of movement in her legs, Sharon has been able to complete everyday tasks, such as household chores, as well as self-care tasks more independently. Increased muscle strength will also mean increased confidence and participation in community events, something that is currently a challenge for Sharon.
“My husband and I attend WAFL games during the season, but I avoid going to certain grounds due to difficulty getting around. I want to feel confident walking on different terrains and surfaces independently without my husband’s support.”
Sharon is on a disability support pension and her husband had to give up work to care for her full-time. Therapy Focus’ GIVE Program is made possible by donations by the WA community and aims to assist with the added costs that often come with having a disability.
“Thank you to every single donor who made this possible; you have changed my life for the better,” Sharon said.
“This grant has made such a huge impact on helping me to learn to walk again and take steps that weren’t possible before. I am extremely grateful for the community’s generosity and I can’t thank Therapy Focus enough.”
Sharon’s Physiotherapist, Carly, said that she was delighted with Sharon’s progress and had seen enormous improvements since she received the bike.
“Not only has the bike had great benefits for Sharon’s muscle strength and function, it has also given Sharon more motivation than ever to achieve her goals.”
“Her persistence and drive to use the bike on a daily basis, in addition to completing other exercises throughout the week, have led to weekly improvements in all aspects of her body and life.”