Following major brain surgery three months ago teenager Louise Fisher from Greenmeadow, who suffers with athetoid cerebral palsy, went for her first big check-up in mid-September at Evelina Hospital in London, to find out how she was responding to her new bionic equipment.
Louise’s condition causes involuntary movements in her face, limbs and body, especially in response to sudden movements and noise. The operation fitted a battery-powered controller into her upper chest with probes under her skin, up through her neck, behind her left ear and into her brain to reduce muscle stimulation.
A vital part of her routine is that for twenty minutes each day a battery booster must be held over the controller to power it up, a procedure that her parents Neil and Heather must assist with.
Louise’s check-up included assessments by speech therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists to compare her progress since she was checked before the operation.
Dad Neil said: “Louise is calmer and doesn’t jerk so much. She is keen to improve her hand skills so she can be more independent and have a better lifestyle.
“We know that her speech won’t improve much, but she is learning more words and you can understand what she’s saying.”
During the summer Louise, who is a pupil at Commonweal School in Old Town enjoyed three holidays: one with family in Devon, another horse-riding and camping supported by volunteers from the Lord Taveners’ charity, and an activity week in Northern Ireland organised by Swindon Pathfinders, where Louise got to ride in a speedboat.
At weekends she enjoys being fussed over by regulars at bingo in the Fox and Hounds, Haydon Wick who fundraise for her.