“When I master walking, I will become a singer. I promise. X-factor will help me,” the nine year old Nastya shared with a big smile. Given how hard she works in MTU’s occupational therapy sessions, it seems that one day she will succeed in following her dreams!
Nastya loves life. She lights up the room with her smile. Friendship means the world to her, and she enjoys keeping in touch with her peers over the Internet.
Last year, she had the time of her life at the MTU overnight summer camp, and continues to tell me how much she loved the experience and how cool her friend in the US is.
Nastya is joy to work with and is very capable. But how I wish she had professionals to help her out earlier in life. A lack of early intervention lead to multiple physical limitations caused by cerebral palsy. Though we still have a long way to go, one day I see her walking.
Let me share how much progress she made over two months thanks to MTU’s physical and occupational therapies. In the beginning of the course, Nastya lacked confidence in her movements. She felt very unsafe when she was put into sitting and standing position. She had a huge fear of space because she started standing up and walking with support much later than her peers. It was only with her mother by her side that she could tolerate being in vertical positions.
Most children master sitting skills before their first birthday. During these few weeks their mothers or caregivers watch them constantly to make sure they don’t get hurt. In her case, her mother was lovingly ‘tied’ to Nastya till the age of 9. Though smart and capable, Nastya was “bound” by her body’s limitations at the self-assistance level of a six month old. She needed someone to help her sit, dress and undress her, move her from the bed to a chair, etc. She would have loved to help her mother in the kitchen, but had so many obstacles to overcome first.
Thanks to our physical therapy course, Nastya has mastered many of her fears. She has developed supportive muscles and has learned to sit independently. We see big potential for her to learn to walk! She has seen so much success in her occupational therapy that she can now put on her socks with the help of an assistive device. She has learned to take her sportswear off with minimum help. She has also got a new hobby - peeling potatoes on her own!
I am thankful for the opportunity to see her life transformed and be a part of the transformation. I am grateful to all people who support our disability ministry. May our God bless you and reward you hundredfold.
By Zita Kalandarishvilli, Occupational Therapy Assistant
P.S. Recently Nastya has had a surgery on her leg muscles to increase movement range. Pray for her soon recovery.