Truly a great story:
PROUD dad Keith Walker had a dream.
He wanted to walk daughter Frances down the aisle for her wedding to Joseph Thornton.
But Mr Walker suffered a severe stroke in March last year, which left him only able to move his fingertips.
But three months later, after care and physiotherapy at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, he was able to walk Frances up the aisle.
And as a thank-you for all the help he received from the team in Ward 21 he has become a major supporter and fundraiser.
His most recent efforts have bought a state of the art Nintendo Wii games console and a 50in screen for the day-room to play it on.
Patients in Ward 21 now have the very latest games console technology to help them in their rehabilitation thanks to the grateful former patient.
Physio staff use the Wii system to develop co-ordination.
Keith, 61, from Upper $#@!berworth, said: “I have so much to thank the team in Ward 21.
“They were so kind and determined, but tough when they needed to be.
“They made sure I achieved my dream of walking my daughter up the aisle. It was something I feared I would never achieve.
“This is a splendid form of rehabilitation and I hope it helps the patients on this wonderful ward.”
Frances – now Mrs Frances Thornton – said: “After my dad’s stroke on March 11, a mere three months before my wedding, we thought we might have to postpone the big day as we thought he may be unable to attend, let alone walk me down the aisle.
“However, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the staff at the HRI Stroke Unit, especially Terry Smith, his physiotherapist, the wedding went ahead on June 9 as planned.
“My dad walked me down the aisle and even conducted a grand firework display which he had planned from his hospital bed! It was a wonderful day.
“And since then he has become the proud grandfather of Isaac, who was born on February 14 this year.”
The cash was raised from an Easter egg raffle this year which made £800.
Since he left hospital Keith has raised thousands of pounds for the ward for extra equipment for patients.
Games consoles are now increasingly used by physiotherapists across the country as an extra and entertaining form of rehabilitation.
A patient is assessed for suitability before use and supervised by a physiotherapist or occupational therapist who matches them to the appropriate game.
Bowling, for example, is very popular for patients who have lost some use in their arm after a stroke as it helps to re-use the affected arm and is enjoyable at the same time.
The ward is also planning to buy more games such as chess to provide mental stimulation for patients to further boost their recovery.
Sister Heather Cording said: “The game console is not just useful from a physiotherapy point of view it can also be used by occupational therapists to help stimulate the mind.
“It can be played by an individual but also by groups which adds to the fun and to the therapy value. We are very grateful to Keith and his wonderful support for the team here.”
So what, did they tie a Wiimote to his leg and make him play tennis?
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