Young Jamie Mannion turned 10 in July and is gaining strength in hopes of one day taking his first independent steps.
His communication emerges with the use of a speech-generating device. Jamie is funny and playful, he loves the outdoors and is adventurous. Jamie suffers from an undiagnosed condition which has resulted in multiple disabilities and requires full time care and support.
But his family in Portlaoise have struggled since he was just five months old when his mother, Father Siobhan, noticed he was not achieving his goals.
In 2020, Jamie, who has older brother Ryan, and his family were supported by the local community in raising funds for Jamie to undergo intensive therapy at the Napa Center in Boston in 2020. MORE IMAGES BELOW.
Places are very difficult to obtain due to the large number of children looking for places in the and Jamie was lucky to secure a place for April 2021. Unfortunately due to the pandemic and lack of vaccinations at that time, the family had to make a difficult decision to give up their place.
Unfortunately, when registration reopened in September 2021, the family missed out on a much-coveted spot, both at the clinic in Boston and at the announced pop-up clinic for Ireland in September 2022, for which Jamie remains on the waiting list. , places are extremely limited and open to families from all over the world.
However, good news was on the horizon. Due to the success of zoom and telehealth, the family began working with SMILE Therapy for Children in Toronto in 2021, which also works closely with Napa and has highly trained and experienced therapists. A positive relationship blossomed and the family decided to book Jamie for an intensive internship in Toronto in July 2022. MORE BELOW PICTURE.
Some fears remained as Jamie’s epilepsy was difficult to control in 2022 and the family feared he could not travel. However, they arrived at the SMILE clinic on July 4, ready for action. Jamie received two weeks of intensive therapy, completing between 3 and 4 hours of intensive therapy each day including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, rebound therapy and speech therapy all under one roof with a highly trained and experienced team.
Jamie thrived during his time there and also had the chance to use Trexo robotics, which is a robotic skeleton leg exoskeleton for children with disabilities to enable them to walk.
Jamie has gained more strength, muscle, stability and skill since his trip and his family are now working hard with the home program they were trained to implement.
Intensive therapy is a process and the family is very grateful to have the opportunity to begin this process with the support they have received.
To follow Jamie’s journey, you can find them on Instagram @jamies_gdd_diary
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