Physiotherapist Ivan Lee helps Taylor Walker-Lear on her way to the Great Wall of China

Back to blog6 months ago by Renee
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Physiotherapist Ivan Lee standing next to young Taylor Walker-Leah at the bottom of a small stair case during a therapy session.
 
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Ten year old Taylor Walker-Lear is one determined girl. Born with CP spastic diplegia, she has, since the age of six, set a series of goals that will one day mean she is living life without the constraints of a walker.

Both of Taylor’s legs are affected by CP, but she has perfect communication.

“If you were to meet her and she was sitting down without her walker near her, you wouldn’t know she had a disability,” Taylor’s mum Toni said.

In September 2016 Taylor had multi-level surgery, and has been working with Cerebral Palsy Alliance Physiotherapist Ivan Lee on lower limb strengthening, stair climbing skills, hydrotherapy, and stretches.

“It was essentially four surgeries in one. She had her hip abductors lengthened, hamstrings lengthened, achilles lengthened, feet broken and straightened, and a bone graft into her feet,” Toni said.

Setting goals along the way has been extremely important to Taylor’s recovery from surgery and with Ivan’s help she is progressing from her walker to crutches.

While this will mean a better quality of life for Taylor, for her it’s also about being able to achieve big dreams.

In 2015 she became the youngest person ever to complete the Krazy Kosci Klimb, and she is now working towards walking the Great Wall of China, with Ivan’s help. Her long term goal is to be a paralympic swimmer, just like her idol paralympic swimmer Jacqueline Freney.

“Ivan is instrumental in helping us to achieve both short term and long term goals. Ivan relates everything back to swimming for Taylor because that’s her passion, he knows what her currency is and knows how to work with that to get her to achieve his goals,” Toni said.

“Taylor also does swimming with Cerebral Palsy Alliance, and one of the physios saw her determination so allowed her to climb with Krazy Kosci even though she wasn’t 12 (the usual minimum age requirement to climb). We were very proud!”

“She’s motivated and she’s a fighter. Everything is a little harder for her than it is for able bodied kids, but very rarely is there a complaint. She gets on with life and she knows her goals. It’s not ‘if’ she is a paralympian but ‘when’,” she said.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Physiotherapist Ivan Lee said that Taylor regularly exceeded her therapy and post-surgery milestones.

“I see Taylor fortnightly where together we focus on outcome measures by challenging her personal best through activities like step ups, walking distance and standing. I build session plans around what she is interested in, like I do with all my clients, using evidence-based therapy for the best results.  

“Taylor is diligent at doing her exercises at home, taking home what we learn, building on it and coming ready for the next challenge, the next milestone, to create a new personal best,” he said.

“Ivan’s support of us and Taylor’s goals and dreams is amazing, and we’re really lucky that we get to work with him,” Toni said.

Do you have a big goal that you or your child would like to achieve? Speak to one of our therapy team to meet with the right therapist for you, so you can live your best life.

Taylor has a page dedicated to her next goal including raising funds. Find out more on Taylor’s page