Sunday, April 18, 2010

Back at it again

Its been almost a years layoff for me, re looking at my life and starting a business. Trying to become part of normal society again.

I am now back at training with the world best biokineticis Gabbi Dekehar. I am now training twice aweek with at the university of stellenbosch sport science departement with some new equipment and a new determiination for the year.

I have had some progress over the last year and been able to us it well. I can now freestand without holding onto anything with my hands above my head and my mobility has befinaltly improved.

Back to the sweat and tears, but this time just thankful for ever bit of function I get back

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Update from Australia


Just an update, for this week. The training on the lokomat seems to have turned the corner, my legs today seemed to stopped fighting the machine as much and I did last week.

I have had huge amounts of spasticity in my legs since using the machine as my body has been fighting the new patterns it is learing through the repedative motion. I have up until today been causing the machine to reset quite often as my leg spasms have been so strong.

I today did two one hour sessions where they were able to increase my walking speed and was also able to walk almost 3km of on the lokomat. So today was pretty damn good.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

As promised - Jan's mail

Hi Bron, friends and family,
I am having the fortunate opportunity to spend a few days with my good mate Dion in Melbourne. Bron, thanks for sharing your man with us and encouraging him to further his progress to walk again.
Dion arrived on Saturday afternoon and I met him at the airport. We booked into our hotel and decided to explore Melbourne at night. We found a lovely Chinese restaurant and enjoyed a good meal and caught up on each others last 8 months since we had last been together. After a few cold ones (no not coca cola but good old Aussie beers) we went back to the hotel to rest. Sunday morning I woke up quiet early and started looking around Melbourne city. I knew that Dions trip would have caught up with him and he would need a good rest. He only surfaced at 12pm and was full of energy so we decided to go to the south bank area for lunch. There seemed to be a lot going on in the city and later we drove down to the waterfront (Docklands) area. From there we drove up the coast to Brighton Beach and further north. The Melbourne coastline is in a large natural bay similar to False Bay and this reminded us a lot of Cape Town. On the way back we stopped at a small fish and chips restaurant 'FlatHead on Brighton' and we enjoyed a fresh seafood spread. On the way back to the hotel we heard on the radio how the SA cricket team ws being hit hard all around the MCG stadium whilst an Aussie rookie was doing damage. We raced back to our hotel room to catch the action. Unfortunately the SA side (beside Duminy) lost wickets quickly and admitted defeat. It was a good match to watch and Duminy gave us a little hope for a while. Thereafter, we retired to get a good nights sleep for Dions first day of therapy at the Hypermed Spinal Rehabilitation Centre.
Monday morning Dions was excited and a little nervous in the process. We found Hypermed (about 200m from the hotel) and met with Malcolm the Director (a really laid back kite surfer with a phenominal scientific brain). Dion and Malcolm discussed Dion's injury in detail and the action plan for Dion's therapy for the following 3 weeks. Dion would be going for 2 - 3 two hour sessions of Hyperbaric (compression chamber) therapy whilst breathing in concentrated oxygen. This induced oxygen under high pressure helps to regenerate nervous impulses from the brain down the spinal cord and repair spinal tissue damage. I am using layman's terms for the discussion that I overheard. In between the Hyperbaric chamber therapy, Dion will be set up on the Locomat. The Locomat is a robotic contraption that attaches to Dion's body from his waist down to his feet. Whilst Dion and the Locomat is elevated above a treadmill, Dion and the Lokomat moves his legs and simulate the walking motion correctly. This stimulates his muscle and neuron memory to walk again. Dions legs were a bit stiff yesterday when he started on the Lokomat. Unfortunately I left in the middle of his Locomat session for other meetings but Dions says that his legs loosened up towards the end and it worked really well. I did manage to get some really good photo's and video clips which Dion has started uploading on his Walk For Life website.
Last night we went out to an Indian retaurant for some good 'ass burn' curry. Our friend Craig joined us and we discussed Dion's day and the possibility of Dion joining myself and Karen on the Gold Coast for the long weekend when it is Australia Day. Dion is keen so we may look at some flights option today and book his flights. It may be a nice break for him and Karen and I would love to show Dion the Gold Coast.
This morning Dions muscles were a bit sore so we got to the Clinic early to get him on the powerplate and try and loosen up his muscles. I have been sitting on his outstreched legs to straighten them and stretch out his muscles whilst the power plate has been vibrating away. The nurse here recons that we make quiet a cute couple so you can just amagine the chirps that Dion and I had for her. At least we provided entertainment for the morning. The excersize did seem to help and Dion was more flexable when he set him up in the Hyperbaric chamber. He is now in the Hyperbaric Chamber resting for two hours watching a Jackie Chan action movie. Yesterday he was on an oxygen high when he came out of the chamber and felt really fresh and energised so I am sure that he will have a good session on the Locomat today.
I have thouroughly enjoyed my time with Dion and I will have to say my goodbyes this afternoon as I return my my gorgeous wife and beautiful children. I have snuck in a picture of Joshua riding his big bike without training wheels for the first time and Kate in one of her princess dresses. I could not resist.
Love to all
Jan and Dion in Melbourne causing havoc whilst we can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Check out Dions blog on

Kind regards
Jan van der Kwast
Bristol Decorator Centre Burleigh Heads
Mobile: 0434 623258
Store Ph: 07 5535 0100
Store Fx: 07 5520 1745

Dion doing well

Hi everyone,

Well, are 3 days into treatment for Dion and apparently he is doing really well. Jan has left him an gone back home to his gorgeous family. It sounds like the two of them had a great time and Jan, you two do make rather a cute couple by the looks of the pictures !!! (sorry could not resist saying that after your comment in your mail.) :-)
Apparently Dion was very stiff and spastic on Monday when he started and he battled a bit with the Lokomat, but he did manage to get up and walk for about 600 odd meters. Tuesday was a better day and I have sent most of you the pictures. i am trying to download them onto the blog but I am not so good with this stuff !!! Dion and Jan went a little earlier to the centre and did some stretcthing and power plate etc and then the chamber and then the Lokomat and he walked for a full 1hr15 without the machine stopping - it has a safety thing that stops the machine so you do not break it etc. Today when I spoke to him briefly he said that he is feeling very stiff and sore, but all good stiff and sore !!! I am really praying very hard for a miracle over the next 3 weeks. I will forward or add Jan's mail later or tomorrow because Jan explained the whole thing really nicely and what does what etc.

Dion, we are all thinking about you and praying for you and wish you nothing but the best. Stay focused and positive my darling and remember that your mind and your will power is the most effective and powerful tool that you have SO USE IT !!!!

I will write again soon and try and add those updates as soon as possible.
Love to you all and have a good evening.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hyperbaric Chamber

Hyperbaric Chamber in Melbourne Australia
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Friday, January 9, 2009

He is on the plane ....

Happy New Year to everyone.
Been quite sometime since myself or Dion wrote on here, but there has not been much to report since is operation and over the December holidays. We had a good break and I cannot believe that the time come and gone and Dion is finally on the plane heading for Australia where he will hopefully realise his dream to walk again or come close enough to it !!! As I am writing this, he should be on the plane heading for JHB where he will stop over for 3 hours and then depart this evening at 19h00 for Perth, Australia. From Perth he head for Melbourne where he will be met at the airport by our very kind and loving friend Jan van der Kwast. Jan is going to spend a couple of days with Dion, get him settled into gym, get him motivated and let me know that all is ok with my hubby. :-) Thank you Jan for this.
We are both nervous, excited, sad, happy, etc all at one time - a mixed basket of emotions floating around here !! I am nervous and worried about him being on his own on the flight and changing flights etc, but I know that he is a big boy and he will be fine !! I am worried because I am going to miss him terribly but I just pray and hope that he keeps focused on his main objective - to his butt off at rehabilitation and the lokomat and the hyperbaric chamber and make this thing and opportunity work for him.
He was very sad to leave his darling daughters - Aimee said that she is going to miss her daddy very much and she was sad. I told that I know how she felt and it was ok if she wanted to cry or anything because it is good to be sad now and then. Kayla of course is not 100 % sure of what is going on and time is really nothing to her at this stage of her life, but as we walked away from Dion and were about to leave the airport, she says "bye dada" - well that was me finished.

Anyway, just wanted to update this blog site for those of you who are still interested and to let you all that Dion is on his way. Wish him luck and watch this space for updates on his progress etc..

Love to all