What happens when an avid golfer meets a life-changing incident?
Struck by a stroke two years ago, the devastating effects have caused Mr Png’s loss of right hand and leg functions, leaving him dependent on a wheelchair.
Referred by an acute hospital, Mr Png attended his rehab sessions religiously at St Luke’s Hospital Day Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) with Senior Principal Occupational Therapist, Gribson Chan, who helped train his hand grip and motor skills. During the therapy sessions, he found it hard to do simple movements like opening up his hand. However, even after a year of rehab sessions with little improvement, Mr Png’s upper limb function reached a plateau because of high finger tonicity. His confidence and mental health have since taken a plunge, resulting in an even slower recovery.
Seeing how downcast Mr Png was, Gribson encouraged him to press on and fight off the negative emotions that were potentially hindering his progress. He even gave him homework and light exercises to continue therapy at home so Mr Png could use them for safe and effective movement training in his comfort. Based on Mr. Png’s condition, a finger-opening splint was given to him to carry out finger-opening practice at home.
One day, he was able to move his fingers on his right hand. This was something both Mr Png and his wife did not even think of – a sign of him regaining his independence slowly and improving his quality of life. “All glory to God! A big part of my recovery is all thanks to Gribson. He extended help beyond his job – supporting and encouraging me – physically and mentally. He even explored different new methods to trigger my hand functions to aid in my recovery process” he said as he massaged and stretches the hand to help loosen the muscles.
Many daily activities in our life require two hands. Mr Png was an avid golfer before the stroke, causing increased muscle tone over his dominant hand, making it difficult for him to conduct daily activities. “When the stroke struck, it was a difficult truth to swallow. Especially when I used to golf. And now I can’t.” Upon hearing what Mr Png said, Gribson replied eagerly, “But you are resilient! Your resilience counts for all the progress you have made!”
Today, Mr Png has regained his mobility functions with the help of a walking stick and even showed pictures of him hanging Chinese New Year decorations around their house.
“We couldn’t thank him enough. My wife and I are very blessed by Gribson and the team of therapists’ help and how they have been with us during the arduous recovery journey.”