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Physiotherapy at Acorns

‘James and William benefit from a range of physiotherapy treatments, which help to loosen their muscles and ease the discomfort and pain they experience.’

Kevin Harvey, Physiotherapist

15-year-old James and his 10-year-old brother William both have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic condition that causes progressive muscle weakness leading to gradual loss of skills such as walking, sitting, and ultimately, making breathing difficult.

James and William use electric powered wheelchairs to get around and need assistance with everyday tasks such as getting dressed and feeding themselves. They are both regular visitors to Acorns Children's Hospice where they benefit from treatment with physiotherapists, including Kevin Harvey:

‘Both boys have difficulty with coughing to clear their lungs of mucus and phlegm’ explains Kevin; ‘James has to periodically visit hospital at short notice because of breathing difficulties, and William will often join us for an emergency stay.’

Kevin uses respiratory physiotherapy techniques to help the boys with their breathing and to slow down the progressive weakening of the muscles that can result in the need for assisted ventilation. He also uses hydrotherapy and other techniques to stretch their muscles and joints to ease discomfort and pain.

‘The progressive nature of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy leads to inactivity and in turn, means muscles become shortened due to lack of use’ says Kevin; ‘Limbs can become fixed in a bad position, which becomes very uncomfortable and makes the individual extremely sensitive to even the slightest change in posture.’

‘The right treatment can make a world of difference – and we see that every day.’

All four Childlife charities support people facing considerable challenges every day. Together we help them - and their families - to cope. Thank you for being part of such a valuable support system.

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