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Karen – AlterG User

Name: Karen

Reason for using the treadmill: I have suffered from left sided weakness and epilepsy since I was about 18 needing to use a mixture of wheelchair and walking stick. In 2014 I had a fall and broke my ankle and after a long period in hospital and rehab Center I was finally able to go home, although due to complications I could only walk very short distances with a walking frame. The NHS have limited resources and so after a period of physio I was left to make my own rehab arrangements.

How long have you been using the treadmill: I joined the Royston Leisure Centre in 2014 through an exercise referral by my GP. I wanted to be able to exercise my legs but knew I couldn’t on a conventional treadmill and so when I was told of all Juanita’s efforts to raise funds for the Antigravity treadmill, I was very excited at the prospect.

How it has helped you: It is difficult to explain the benefits I have got from using the antigravity machine as they are so wide and varied. On my first session, the first thing I realised was that I couldn’t fall over and for the first time I was able to walk without holding on to anything. With the guidance of the SLL Team, I have gradually been able to put more weight on my legs by reducing the pressure inside.

Has it made any difference to your day to day life: My GP had also advised me to lose weight to help with my mobility and so after losing 5.5 stones, together with the easier movement of my legs from using the treadmill, I felt a so much better. Now if I unfortunately fall over I can manoeuvre myself back into an upright position.

How do you find using the equipment: Initially I used the treadmill with a trainer but as the time went by I was able to monitor my own training. Now with the help of my husband I am able to use the machine and monitor my own progress as the machine has given me the opportunity to walk like a normal person would. The more I use the treadmill the easier it gets on my legs and hips.

Any other comments:

I cannot thanks Juanita enough for all her efforts in making it possible for me to do what others find so easy on a treadmill.

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