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26th March 2024

In 2022, a patient named Rachel began her AlterG journey as part of treatment for Functional Neurological Disorder. With the support of the team at Move4Ward in Elgin, Scotland, here is her story….

I’m not one for sharing anything personal but thought if my story can help one person then it is worth telling, so here goes.

Almost 5 years ago I suffered disabling symptoms – paralysis, pain, numbness, tingling, drop foot, shakes, tremors and unbelievable fatigue. I was so reliant on others to help me along with a wheelchair for distance or crutches for very short distances. Words cannot describe the pain and disability I suffered. I didn’t live I purely existed.

Well it is with great joy and happiness that this is no longer my life! I am now pretty much fully recovered, although I still need a lot of sleep – a small price to pay to walk along a beach again and to enjoy actually living life rather than just existing.

So how did I turn it all around, well the most wonderful hairdresser told me about Move4ward a private neuro rehabilitation facility and I thought anything was worth trying.

I went there with an open mind and a little hope. I was so impressed with them. After talking about my symptoms in great detail and examining me, they came up with a plan to help me recover.

An FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) Unit strapped to my legs. Combined with wearing some dry suit like shorts and being zipped into a fancy Alter-G Treadmill. This is a fall safe environment where you can weigh as little as 20% of your body weight! Pretty awesome! With the combination of the zero gravity and FES I was actually able TO WALK AGAIN, legs lifting as they should and I cried happy tears! I couldn’t believe it my body was working!

I continued to work away on the Alter-G, I would see daily improvements and we removed the FES the first time my heel lifted without the FES I cried happy tears my legs were waking up! Filled with hope I continued and the improvements continued. We also worked on standing balance and coordination, standing backwards in the machine, throwing, reaching and balancing

I am now a walking human again, with legs that lift! This is truly amazing! I even managed over 11K steps recently when a friend came to visit! I didn’t even think 10 steps would be possible once!

Please never give up, please keep going no matter how hard life seems there is always someone out there who can help! I went from wheels & crutches to walking unaided.

Every day I walk I feel thankful not just to the wonderful physios who rehabilitated me at Move4ward but to an amazing treadmill and a hairdresser for the best recommendation I have ever had in my life.

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