Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

'Wii Fit helped me to walk again'

A young Irish girl has learned to walk again thanks to her doctors -- and a computer game.

Nicole Cahill (10) from Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, took her first steps in four years years at a New York hospital late last year.

Since returning home on December 14, Nicole has stunned family and friends with her progress and is now expected to walk unaided by the end of the year.

Nicole's mum, Mairead, said: "She's doing really well. She's in therapy nearly six days a week now," says Mairead.

"At home she's not using the walking frame and she leaves it at the side of the wall in school.

"We'll have to wait and see but we think she's doing so well that she'll be walking [unaided] sooner than we think."

Meanwhile, Nicole's parents no longer have to pay for private therapy sessions since a Wexford hotel gave Nicole a year's membership in their leisure centre for free.

"Ferrycarraig Hotel gave her membership for a year and she's going to be starting her hydrotherapy with them," said a delighted Mairead.

The hotel's instructors will be looking after Nicole from now on, and in between therapy she uses one of her most prized Christmas presents to keep strengthening her muscles.

"The Wii Fit has really helped. It's great because there are so many balancing and stretching exercises on it.

"I also do yoga with her at home, and she does exercises on a ball. The Wii has taken an awful lot of pressure off her as well."

Nicole also got an electric reclining chair as a donation from Enniscorthy businesses to help her unwind after the day.

"People have been great to her," says Mairead.

Nicole spent six months in a New York rehabilitation hospital to get back on her feet after a virus left her paralysed at only six years of age.

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