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World Encephalitis Awareness Day

Encephalitis Awareness Day

Today is world encephalitis day. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. It is caused either by an infection invading the brain (infectious encephalitis) or through the immune system attacking the brain in error (post-infectious or autoimmune encephalitis).

In honour of this we are going to talk about a much loved client of ours who has this condition.

It was the year 2000 and 24 year old Steve was taking a gap year to travel. He was in Australia when after being bitten by a mosquito he started to fit. His limbs were twitching and after being taken to a local hospital it was found that the mosquito was carrying a virus which had caused Murray Valley Encephalitis which is very rare and only found in Australia.

Steve’s family travelled to Australia to be with him as he had now lost movement in all his limbs, had limited speech and was ventilator dependent. His family raised funds to get him back home where he was then admitted to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

After spending time in rehabilitation centres in Oxford he eventually was able to return to his parent’s home, where they had built a self-contained annex onto the family home where Steve now lives with the assistance of 2 people providing 24 hour care, as he is still dependent on a ventilator.

Steve started his physiotherapy with PhysioFunction in June 2011 and Michelle his physiotherapist uses hands on therapy as well as putting Steve onto the tilt table which enables him to stand upright. Recently Michelle has also added in the Galileo vibrating plate to his therapy for both hands and feet, this provides sensory feedback which Steve really enjoys and has improved his head control. Steve has had improvements with some returning movement in his legs and fingers and reduced leg swelling.

Steven engages well in his sessions, following all instructions and banter through eye blinking which communicates a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Steve enjoys watching football and is a Chrystal Palace fan. However, as a Northamptonian he does also watch the Northampton Cobblers and enjoyed going to their matches. He also likes to watch the tennis and is a great fan of the tv series Friends.

With his carers he attends Headway (Brain Injury Support Charity), goes to concerts, theatre and enjoys holidays.

For further information about Encephalitis click here Encephalitis Society

World Encephalitis Awareness Day image

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