You don’t expect a stroke to strike at age 35, but…

…on a long flight to visit family and with two toddlers by her side, this is exactly what happened to Dana

Can you even begin to image how frightening it must have been for Dana and her two children?

Around a third of stroke victims (20% of which are younger than 60 years) will die within a month. Another third will survive with mild to minor long-term effects, and the final third are like Dana – they survive, but with a moderate to serious disability and life is never the same again.

Traditional rehabilitation is arduous, painstakingly slow and worst of all, improvement may be very small.

NeuRA has pioneered a revolutionary new program that gives stroke victims control of their limbs again – and incredibly, it’s based on the use of a video game unit called a Nintendo Wii!

But before we can roll out the incredible Wii-based Movement Therapy across Australia, we need your help to fund further research that will help us understand some of the more complex science (like what neurophysiological mechanisms make it work so well), so we can carefully tailor the program to each patient.

Please donate today, to help someone like Dana hold their children’s hands once more.

…on a long flight to visit family and with two toddlers by her side, this is exactly what happened to Dana

At NeuRA, we see first-hand the impact stroke has on someone. If you’re lucky enough to survive it, you may still be left with a disability so severe it changes your life.

That’s what happened to Dana. A young woman of just thirty-five, who was travelling on an airplane with her two small children – Jenna aged two, and Evan just six months – when a stroke hit.

“I was travelling to visit my parents,” Dana remembers. “I took Jenna to the toilet about half way into the long flight. When I tried to return to my seat I couldn’t move. Then I fell down…”

It must have been a terrifying moment for Dana, and even more so for a young toddler. Thankfully there were three doctors on board, and they immediately identified a stroke.

You’d never expect that a stroke could happen to someone so young. Yet that’s the thing about stroke. It doesn’t wait for an invitation. It doesn’t even give you warning… it just strikes. Stroke does not just affect older people; 20% of stroke victims are younger than 60 years old.

We need your help to give hope to those who have been struck down by stroke. Your help today can offer a light at the end of the tunnel to those who are living with disabilities because of stroke.

Please donate to help us do this, through our revolutionary program Wii-based Movement Therapy to help people use their limbs again. Your donation will support critical research that government can’t or won’t fund.

“I spent two weeks in ICU,” Dana tells us, “I was paralysed down my right side. I couldn’t eat, talk or walk. I was so worried for my children.”

This is not uncommon. Stroke stops blood flow to the brain, often causing disabling weakness and sometimes long term paralysis down one side. When limbs aren’t moved, muscles may waste or contract – this may make people’s arms turn inwards and their fingers curl up.

You may be aware of the devastating statistics around stoke. Approximately a third of stroke victims will die within a month. Another third will survive with mild to minor long-term effects. And the final third are like Dana – they survive, but with moderate disabilities or such serious disability that life is never the same again.

Dana spent the next six months, thousands of kilometres from home, doing intensive rehabilitation. But by then, her right hand was very contracted and she couldn’t use it at all.

I’m sure you can imagine how hard this made life with a toddler and a baby. “The impact on my children has been significant,” Dana agrees sadly. “My little girl Jenna worries about me falling; however she is not afraid to hold my “broken” right hand. But my little boy doesn’t like to hold my disabled hand at all…”

Like Dana, stroke patients in Australia are offered rehabilitation. Mostly this is based on repetitive activity such as “constraint-induced movement therapy”, which means people are forced to use their stroke affected limbs. It is arduous, painstakingly slow and, worst of all, improvement may be very small.

There is a better way! NeuRA has pioneered a revolutionary new program that gives stroke victims better control of their limbs again – and incredibly, it’s based on the designed use of a video game unit called a Nintendo Wii.

We have run three trials of this new Wii-based Movement Therapy rehabilitation program. And the results are exciting and very encouraging. We found that because patients don’t find the rehabilitation difficult in the same way they do traditional approaches, they practise for longer than we ask them. And this results in more movement! Legs that walk further! Hands that hold!

Dana tells me, “In just two weeks of using the Wii program I was able to eat with my right hand. I couldn’t believe it!”

We’ve made great progress, but before we can roll out Wii-based Movement Therapy across Australia, we need to understand some of the science behind the results (like what neurophysiological mechanisms make it work so well). This is vital so we can individually tailor the program to each patient – no matter what their needs and disabilities.

This is all possible, with your gift to start the next phase of research. Then Wii-based Movement Therapy could be rolled out Australia-wide, and available to more people who have been left with a disability due to stroke.

Please give generously to make this program available for someone like Dana.

It is our hope that whatever age you are now, you agree that helping a mum hold her children’s hands again is important.