Eighteen-year-old Ariadne Popma, of Michigan who suffered from a stroke when it paralyzed her left side two years ago, most likely caused by a blood disorder she has called beta thalassemia.
After her horrindeous ordeal the youg girl was left in a wheelchair and was told it would probably take months for her to learn to walk again, she addmitted herself to a specialist hospital in Cleavelend, to work with Dr. Jeffrey Bolek in the Cleveland Clinic’s Motor Control Program.
In three weeks, his therapy not only helped her stand, it helped her walk again. Unlike traditional therapies that electrically stimulate individual muscles, Dr. Bolek’s program forces Ariadne’s brain to tell her body what to do.
“If you can give success in one or two muscles, a lot of the other things fall into place,” Dr. Bolek says.
He also adds his method works faster which may be economical to the patient paying for healthcare. However, the therapy may not work for everyone.
It works as Ariadne walks on the treadmill and watches a monitor in front of her. Two moving lines let her know if she’s hitting her target.
But what keeps her going is the fact that her walking is powering a DVD player that shows a movie. It plays as long as she walks correctly.
“This one actually gives me feedback to use what I need so I can use my muscles accordingly to my brain,” Ariadne says