- Disabilities & the Disabled
Making Tie Fleece Blankets As Physiotherapy For Stroke Survivors
This is the inspiring story of one of my sisters, a stroke survivor who makes tie blankets as a form of physiotherapy and for charity. My sister, is an immense inspiration, not only to me, but to just about everyone who meets her. She is beautiful, always smiling, positive, loves to sing and has a huge heart light which she shines for all the world to see. Remember those words from song from the movie E.T.?
16 years ago this amazing being was struck down with a brain injury. Suffice it to say at 38 years old when doctors found an arterial vascular malformation or A.V.M. for short in the thalmic region of her brain they did all they could to save her life by averting a stroke or worse, massive brain hemorhage. Save her life they did but the treatment was unable to prevent the tangled arteries and veins from developing an anuerism which ruptured to cause the dreaded massive brain hemorrhage.
Well she did more than survive. As you read in the first paragraph and today she is our very own walking, talking, living miracle of God. She counsels others at her day programs, makes everyone smile and sings her way into the heart of anyone fortunate enough to come within earshot. She walks on a quad cane, has two children, 5 granddaughters, 2 grandsons and lives with our mother who has been her devoted caregiver throughout the decade and a half of healing to this day. As part of her ongoing therapy an occupational therapist visits their home one day a week to help her make tie blankets to maintain dexterity in her left hand which is weak but still functional due paralysis resulting from the stroke.
Each tie blanket has a story and a mountain of love which goes into it. The cutting and tying of the strips around the blankets is very good therapy to keep the hand and finger muscles moving and the concentration required to complete them is good mental therapy. She began by making the first one for her first grandson. From there each grandchild was given one as a birthday or Christmas present. After the little ones each had theirs, we were lucky recipients of these lovely soft fleece, snuggly blankets. As I have a cat, mine has a cat on it. My husband was given one with 2 gorgeous deer to commemorate his retirement in the country. Mum's favourite colour is blue so hers is a soft, sweet blue just like her spirit and generosity. Our middle sister has yet to send me the picture of hers, but when she does I will certainly add it here. Last Christmas her beau who plays hockey was given one with a Canadian hockey player on it. He was so excited and touched as no one has ever done anything so sweet for him, in his own words.
The next blanket was her own and made for a special reason. First, she was born on the 4th of July so spending her birthday in the USA where our second sister lives and where I have lived from time to time has always been a treat for her. She just loves the fact that there are fireworks in honour of her birthday as she like to say. As a result she has a huge assortment of red, white and blue, star spangled banner souvenirs. The blanket is the crowning glory to top all her other July 4th theme belongings.
The lastest one is the hope blanket. This was made with love and blessings for her favourite taxi driver's girlfriend who is fighting breast cancer. It is in the colour pink with the breast cancer awareness ribbon motif on it and appropriate for the timing of this hub published in October which is breast cancer awareness month. She has also made one of these to raise funds for her local chapter of The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. As she makes her way on her own safari to success, as we all should, she gives back and makes us very proud.
Safari to Success
I just had to include her first YouTube video for you to enjoy her heartlight as much as those of us who love her do. She is my hero!
How To Make A Blanket
- How to Make a Tie Fleece Blanket
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