17 Aug 2022

Courageous Laois boy finally makes it to vital intensive therapy

Laois boy who fundraised finally makes it to vital intensive therapy

Young Jamie Mannion turned 10 years old in July and is gaining strength in the hope that he will one day take his first independent steps.

His communication is emerging with the use of a speech-generating device. Jamie is funny and mischievous, he adores the outdoors and is adventurous.  Jamie has an undiagnosed condition that has resulted in multiple disabilities and needs full-time care and support.

But his family in Portlaoise have been fighting his corner since he was just five months of age when his mother Siobhan father noticed that he wasn’t reaching his milestones.

In 2020 Jamie, who has an older brother Ryan, and his family were supported by the local community in raising money for Jamie to attend intensive therapy in the Napa Centre Boston in 2020. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Places are very difficult to get due to the high volume of children seeking places in the and Jamie was lucky to get a place in for April 2021. Unfortunately due to the pandemic and lack of vaccination roll out by this time, the family had to make a tough decision to forgo their place.

Unfortunately, when registration opened up again in September 2021 the family missed out on a much-coveted place, for both the Boston clinic and the pop-up clinic announced for Ireland in September 2022, of which Jamie remains on the waiting list, however, places are extremely limited and open to families worldwide.

However, good news was on the horizon. Due to the success of zoom and telehealth, the family began working with SMILE therapy for kids in Toronto in 2021, who also work closely with Napa and  have highly trained and experienced therapists. A positive relationship flourished and the family decided to book Jamie in for an intensive in Toronto in July 2022. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Some fears remained as Jamie’s epilepsy has been difficult to control in 2022 and the family was worried he may not be able to travel. However, they arrived at SMILE clinic on the 4th of July ready for action.  Jamie received two weeks of intensive therapy, each day completing between 3-4 hours of intensive therapy including physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, Rebound therapy, and  Speech and language therapy all under one roof with a highly trained and experienced team.

Jamie flourished in his time there and was also lucky to use Trexo robotics, which is an exoskeleton robotic skeleton legs for disabled children to enable them to walk.

Jamie has gained more strength, muscle, stability, and skills since his trip and his family are now hard at work with the home program that they have been trained to implement.

Intensive therapy is a process and the family are so grateful for the opportunity to begin this process thanks to the support they gained.

To follow Jamie’s journey they can be found on Instagram @jamies_gdd_diary

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