Go, Aaron! Go!

Walking independently is quite natural to nearly all people.

It is almost certain that they were able to walk before they were able to even think about it. This is true for most people, but, unfortunately, not for all. Not for Aaron. Whenever I am staying at PCC it is my intention to walk with him every day, it has been like that since 2009. It has become clear to me during those years that he is not able to control his muscles properly in such a serious manner that it’s very unlikely he will be able to walk independently ever.

He is strong enough, that is for sure. It is quite an effort to loosen his tight grip when he has taken a hold of you.

However, his movements go everywhere except for the right direction, so it seems. He is never able to stand stable and upright, let alone to walk a few steps. Aaron is very conscious of his problems with standing and walking, his look is heartrendingly sad when he –again– realizes that he is longing for something he will never be able to do: walk, in spite of all his practice.

He has practiced endlessly at a bamboo bridge and he has tried his hand at a special walker (a kind of walking support often used by toddlers but larger). He has also practiced walking with Alice’s walker now and then and he has made regular use of a regular walker, but in all cases the result would be the same: after only a few steps Aaron would fall to the ground on the left or right hand side of the footpath because of his very poor coordination.

 

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The sadness can be read from his face whenever he is failing to walk, but he remains hopeful each and every day, he will stick his hands out to you with a yearning desire and the unspoken message: “Here I am, please help me, I am sooo longing to walk”! However, Aaron’s unceasing hope and stamina are not enough. And so he will be sitting on the ground in some kind of spread position most of the time waiting for… Well, waiting for what?

 

And then… Not long ago we received an exceptional walker from a friendly German foundation, this very special walker supports almost all relevant body parts of Aaron when he is walking. With this walker he is able to walk while sitting, as his pelvis, his chest and both ankles are now well fixed and remain fixed in spite of Aaron’s natural tendency to move his body to all sides. Of course you might say that he is still not able to walk independently, because without the help of this “Kidswalk” (a caregiver has to only slightly help him navigate) he is still at a loss, but Aaron certainly considers this as a huge step forward.

Aaron will not take part in a marathon ever, rounding the compound is more or less a marathon to him, but he is walking now and that is what it is all about!

He is experiencing a completely new feeling, because he is able to pass his life in an upright position now.

He is happy and proud because of his brand new walker, which is noticeable by his broad smile. He is as it were proceeding forward in his own special walker. Go, Aaron! Go!