Steffi Rohden lives on the Osterberg in Neinstedt. Due to early childhood brain damage and subsequent tetraplegia, she cannot speak and many of her muscles are paralyzed.
„But she can laugh – sometimes really loudly,“ says Madeleine Krutenat, who works as a Special Needs Care Giver in the foundation. „She has many talents, and lets us join in with them through her gestures,“ continues Krutenat. Steffi’s spine is twisted due to scoliosis. As a result, her hip is deformed and the femoral head had to be removed. Steffi will probably never be able to walk, but the progression of bodily misalignment should be prevented. As apart of her ongoing development, Steffi visits physical therapy at the Foundation daily. There, her shortened muscles are loosened and stretched. „Without this treatment, the contractures would worsen and Steffi’s body would continue to twist. Her internal organs would be put under stress and her bodily functions would no longer be guaranteed,“ emphasizes Ronald Geringswald, Steffi’s attending physical therapist. An important part of her therapy is the aquatic therapy pool. „The water temperature of 32°C (89°F) causes her spastic muscles to relax, which in turn promotes joint mobility,“ continues Geringswald.
Steffi does not understand the medical reasons for aquatic therapy, but her feelings speak for themselves. Using the aquatic therapy pool is the highlight of her treatment time. Here she gets to know her body in a new way. She can leave the confines of the wheelchair and experience the feeling of weightlessness. The warm water relaxes cramps and relieves pain.
Lukashaus: The Aquatic Therapy Pool in Neinstedt
The pool was built near the end of the GDR regime with the materials of that time. After almost thirty years, the pool is no longer watertight, and must be rebuilt. So that the pool doesn’t have to be closed permenantly, a renovation is desperately needed – and expected to cost about €250,000.
Please consider donating for the renovation and restoration of the Lukasbad!
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