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Barry Plechowicz who has primary progressive MS has been coming to the Centre since August 2016 and regularly attends therapy. In the gym we have worked on strength, balance, co-ordination and spent a lot of time discussing fatigue management and pacing. This has been a real challenge for Barry. We have utilised the Sensory Integration room and Antigravity treadmill.A keen kick-boxer, Barry took part in the World Kickboxing Championships in Birmingham in October 2017 returning with a gold medal in the team pursuit and a bronze in the individual.

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Also a keen athlete, Ellie Phillips who was diagnosed with MS in 2013, has been coming to the Centre for Oxygen Therapy for many years. In January this year she decided she wanted to get back to running again. Working with the physio team she gave herself the goal of running a half marathon. The team again have utilised a range of gym equipment including both the Anti Gravity

Treadmill and Sensory Integration to work towards her goal, managing ‘niggles’ and fatigue, and looking at pacing as Ellie’s job as a gardener is very active. In October Ellie completed her first 5km race in Devon. Although Ellie needed a little rest at 4km she was still able to run the whole way which was an amazing achievement. She has already booked onto her next 5km at the end of December a night run!

images/Real Life Stories/Sensory Therapy.jpgMany other people have been helped at the Merlin MS Therapy Centre - here are just a few things they say:

Mike Udy attends for oxygen treatment and reports ‘Improved sleep pattern and more stable eyesight’.

Christine Holmes says it's ‘Early days yet, but it feels great to be around lovely caring people helping me to try and improve my health and wellbeing’.

Ross Withers: ‘Just all around nice people to come and see on a Tuesday morning’.

Claire Palmer: ‘As a visitor to the centre I was made to feel very welcome. The staff are very friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble. Great centre with amazing facilities’.

Stephen Franks: ‘Staff and facility users always upbeat and positive. Great atmosphere’.

Marian Watson: ‘Puts my situation into perspective – stops me feeling depressed about my limitations’.

Arthur Norman Gilbert: ‘I enjoy the garden and space and the caring attitude of all staff and volunteers’

Gerald Francis Parmiter: ‘Having been diagnosed with progressive MS over 22 years ago, I find the excellent help and advice given to me by the physios at the Merlin, keeps me active and able to enjoy life under the extreme circumstances’.

Marie-Claude Nott: ‘I very much enjoy using the centre due to the benefit of the private and group physiotherapy sessions. I very much appreciate the advice and home experiences given by the physiotherapists’.

Celia Doorn: ‘The Merlin Centre has been my salvation’.

Anne Vipond: ‘The positive attitude of the physio team has helped my recovery from a broken hip. I enjoy my visits to the centre and without their help I may well have lost the ability to move about independently. It has been a privilege to attend and I shall be forever grateful for the support received’.

Karen Hunter: ‘Very friendly and welcoming’.

Karen Retchford: ‘I know when all other provisions close the doors, Merlin will provide access when needed or give me a quiet room as they have done when extremely distressed, when medical needs arise and one to one when matters are urgent’.

Michael Gibson: ‘Increased interaction with others. Was able to do tandem parachute jump and swim a mile for Merlin. Never thought it possible a few years ago. With the help of the Merlin Centre I have regained a degree of independence and my outlook on life has changed dramatically. I have a lot to thank the centre and the staff for’.

Patricia Jane Blackburn: ‘I have had oxygen treatment in many other places from the Orkney Islands, Ireland, Wales, Midlands and down to Cornwall. It is definitely something to be proud of. Such a positive, uplifting place where all aspects of MS conditions are catered for’.

Laura Diane Baker: ‘I am not alone’.

Susan Carlyle: ‘Excellent physio. Week by week health and needs vary and physio is adjusted accordingly. Excellent podiatry care’.

Angela Scarrott: ‘For the short periods we spend here, we can fully unwind safe and secure in the non-judgemental haven that the Merlin MS Centre offers. How we look, move, speak or react is simply accepted as how things are for us today. This is such a gift, a release even and allows us to relax a while. Please be assured of the enormous importance of the emotional support you all provide – it helps us retain some measure of control and supports our ability to manage our condition. Personally, I don’t know how I’d cope without you’.

Barbara Allerton: ‘ The physio staff are very caring and help in every way they can. It was the best days work contacting the physiotherapy department because I would have ended up in a wheelchair’.

Richard Kind: ‘All the physiotherapy staff are caring, welcoming, helpful, professional and I really enjoy all the sessions, even painting the walls!!! I also use the podiatry service with Karen Trethewy, plus I visit the Probus Surgery nurse and doctor here’.Roger William Smith: ‘This facility is a God send as otherwise we had nonphysio treatment available anywhere else!’.


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