When two-year-old Finley Williams suffered a stroke in the womb, doctors feared he may never walk. A couple of years on from that tentative prognosis, he’s on his feet.
If an adult suffered an equivalent-sized stroke, it would likely leave them wheelchair-bound, completely dependent on others. Luckily, children’s brains are a little more… elastic and tend to recover better. “He’s doing amazing,” says Kendyl. “He’s really taken off in the past couple of weeks. He’s walking pretty far. He’s a real outdoorsy kid, which helps.” That’s not to say he has fully recovered from the stroke, which affected the right-hand side of his body; particularly his arm. “His biggest problem is his right hand,” says Kendyl. “He can use it to support himself, but he can’t pick things up. His core is also really weak, so his balance is bad.” Finley attends physio sessions to coax some movement from his hand, but it’s a long process and it’s difficult to know if he’ll ever possess full functionality. His physio did say a balance bike would help Finley to use his hand more; an important step in his road to recovery. So when Satan’s Little Helper was contacted about the little man, we knew we had to get him one. Kendyl says she’s already seen improvements in her son. “He’s started walking since he got the balance bike and I think it has definitely helped. The bike is helping to improve his balance and dexterity. He also uses his hand to balance himself on the bike’s handlebars and his core strength to sit up straight.” Finley lives near a walking track and has already explored it a few times on his bike. Once summer hits, Kendyl thinks he’ll be up and down it in his own happy little world. “He’ll use it heaps in the summer – he loves being outside. We’ve got a track in town that we take him down and he loves it Thankfully, Finley is on the right track as far as his recovery goes. He’s at kindy one day a week and can talk – an important milestone in juvenile stroke victims. If the balance bike can keep him on another track, the one that winds around town, then Finley is even more likely to keep defying the doctors.