The gift of walking

Auckland City Hospital stroke patients like John Baker are gaining confidence while relearning to walk, thanks to the donation of a specialist LiteGait therapy treadmill.

You take life for granted when you can do everything, especially something as simple as walking – stroke survivor, John

LiteGait was gifted to Auckland City Hospital’s integrated stroke centre (Taiao Ora | Ward 51) by the Marion Davis Memorial Trust, administered by Perpetual Guardian, and the ward’s staff and patients are so grateful.

Four weeks after suffering a stroke, and while using LiteGait for the first time, John was loving being back on his feet: “It’s an amazing machine that will help a lot of people.”

LiteGait is a gait training device that simultaneously controls weight bearing, posture and balance over a treadmill. It facilitates coordinated leg movement and creates an ideal environment for treating patients with a wide range of impairments, including those caused by stroke.

John’s Auckland City Hospital physiotherapist Brittany Olsen-Verner said LiteGait is really useful for patients starting to walk following a stroke.

“John’s balance isn’t the best, and LiteGait takes away the fear of falling,” said Brittany when John first used it.

John said at the time, “You never think you’ll have to learn how to walk again.” Recalling when he had his stroke, John reflects, “It was just a normal day, before it all flipped upside down.

“You take life for granted when you can do everything, especially something as simple as walking. Every day, the team here is trying to get you back into it.

“My occupational therapists and Brittany have been great, and this machine is really cool. It’s a big help with my confidence and balance.”

Now several years on, the Marion Davis Memorial Trust is continuing to help stroke patients, like John, get back on their feet – a priceless gift for which many New Zealanders are incredibly grateful.

We are currently fundraising for a new treatment suite dedicated to performing the game-changing stroke procedure, endovascular clot retrieval.  Auckland City Hospital is a world leader in this groundbreaking treatment, which has the biggest impact in terms of significantly reducing permanent disability following a stroke, and this landmark multi-million dollar project will save more lives and improve outcomes for hundreds of stroke patients every year.

To find out more about our new treatment suite project, which you can support, click here.