LYNN Morgan had not walked independently for about seven years — until she was completely immersed in water at a world-first therapy service at North Adelaide.
“It was just so amazing to have that freedom, be pain-free and suddenly be able to move,” she told the Sunday Mail before a session at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre.
The therapy service, called Determined 2, gives people with disabilities the chance to use scuba-diving equipment to become completely immersed in water.
In November 2006, Ms Morgan, 57, had a workplace injury and was left with 92 per cent total disability.
The spinal cord injury, which happened as she got out of a car at work, left her an L2 incomplete paraplegic.
Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy services have not given her the same freedom of movement, she said.
“I’ve had two actual sessions in the water — the introductory one and a subsequent one and it’s just unbelievable,” she said.
“I can walk on two sticks for a short while but I haven’t walked unaided for seven years.
“They weighted my ankles and suddenly the muscles did work.”
Determined 2 founder Peter Wilson said the service had physical benefits but also allowed people with disabilities and medical conditions to feel a new sense of freedom.
“Our focus is more the therapeutic benefits of being in the water and being weightless in water,” he said.
“The only medicine you can’t buy in life is happiness — that ability to feel empowered with joy trumps everything,” he said.
Immersion therapy has been fully approved by the State Government and is available on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).