The combination of medical excellence and rehabilitatory measures improves QoL as Sheikha’s story shows

When four-year old Sheikha was admitted to ProVita over a year ago facing severe physical and social problems, daily life was an incredible challenge for the little girl and her family. Having spent much of her early life in the U.S. undergoing various treatments, Sheikha came to ProVita requiring mechanical ventilation on a nightly basis and experienced a range of issues interacting with people, such as an inability to make eye contact and frequent rocking behaviour. Proprioceptive difficulties meant Sheikha was unable to walk; despite having the physical ability to do so, the sensory processing disorder meant she lacked any sense of where her body was in space, rendering her afraid of making basic movements. Through daily occupational therapy sessions and round-the-clock care, a year has made an incredible difference to Sheikha’s life and her achievements are manifold. She was weaned off mechanical ventilation and OTs spent months gradually building up a rapport and developing her trust in order to tackle some of the social issues. An incredibly delicate process saw Sheikha build up tolerance to bearing weight on her limbs (at first supported and then unaided). The next stage saw her use a specially designed walker, as she was encouraged to take steps, an action that she now does semi-independently, with the help of holding someone’s hand. Having been overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of everyday life and in need of constant physical comfort, Sheikha is now able to engage in independent activities and is at a stage where she can be enrolled into a basic education programme, a milestone that those close to her never expected her to reach

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