Monday, April 5, 2010

Advance Biomechanical Rehabilitation (ABR)

There is a truly remarkable boy named Samuel who drowned in July 2005 after falling in to a canal, had CPR performed for 40 minutes and received 6 dosages of medication to stimulate his heart (Josh also had 40 minutes of CPR and 4 dosages of meds).  

Last November, JF went to a meeting to find out more about a therapy called Advance Biomechanical Rehabilitation, or ABR for short, which is something Samuel and his mother are currently doing. They have a couple of short videos on their blog showing the difference in Samuel before and after ABR.  Inspiring!  Of the therapies we'd been looking at, this seemed to make the most sense, with positive outcomes. To explain the process however is difficult.
  
ABR therapy (part of it anyway, and very basically) looks like is here; a pile of towels on a chest with someone pressing down on them.  But as explained, theres obviously more to it than that! You can apply ABR manually, and also use a machine to achieve the same results.  It does not hurt, and Josh just has to lay there, while we apply gently pressure to key areas of his torso to build up strngth deep within his body.

A team from Singapore came for the weekend, and so all of Good Friday, and a few hours on Saturday and Sunday were spent learning more about ABR, the techniques (manually and with a machine), and having an assessment done of Josh so that when they return in 3 months or so, we can hopefully note some positive changes.  We really want to avoid surgery for Josh as much as possible (particularly for his hips and legs) and I'm confident we'll see results with ABR.  Its is not difficult, just ongoing, most likely forever, but is less demanding physically than other therapies on each of us involved. 

The trainers were lovely, helpful, informative.  When they said "move your knee here", or "put your seat a little higher", I did it.  It was too easy to race ahead, and apply a little more pressure than needed because I thought that more must be better, or to roll the ball in longer strokes and a bit faster, because surely that must be more beneficial.  Sometimes, you have to trust those that know.

There were 3 other families who attended also, and it will be great to keep in touch to see their progression.  We also met another family who helps coordinate the meetings in Sydney for ABR.  Her son had had an hypoxic brain injury at 6 months, and was apparently stiff all over, like Jojo.  To see where her son is at now, after doing ABR for 4 years, was a fabulous way to finish the weekend.


This is the ball used for manual ABR - an Overball, thats soft with air let out to make it a bit squishy.

1 comment:

Mom-of-Five said...

Wendy,

Funny that I've been reading your blog for awhile and noticed today that you posted about Samuel :). Small world! I can only begin to imagine how hectic your life is with Josh, your others kids, being a single mom AND ABR! I hope things are going well with it. Email me anytime if you have questions. I'm not an expert, but can share the experience we do have.

Teresa

 
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