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Cyberhorse 2008
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Holly Mason - An update from Germany

Update on Holly…
Report & Photos by Kelly Bauer

Holly Mason is an Aussie girl who had a dream to go to Germany and work with horses.  She made it to Europe, but her dream came to an end when a tragic accident saw her fighting for life and her struggles continue as she has to learn to do the things that most of us are fortunate enough to take for granted.  Follow this is the link to the first part of Holly's story

The last day of September marked my third visit to the Therapy Centre in Burgau. It has been really interesting to witness Holly’s development since my first visit in July.

At the start of September when I visited, Holly’s boyfriend Adam had flown over to visit, and it was evident that this was a massive motivation boost for Holly. I was amazed to see how much more movement she had in her left arm and leg, and the speed in which she was able to point to words on her word board.

Photo right: Holly and her boyfriend Adam.

Having Adam visiting also meant that Anne was able to relax a little and enjoy the opportunity to go out to watch one of the nurses having a dressage lesson without having to worry about Holly being alone in the therapy centre at night.


Above - One of the ponies happy to say hello on our walk
and Holly feeding the rabbit.

Heading out for a walk around the quaint little town of Burgau, I was shown the amazing array of animals on one of Anne & Holly’s walking routes. We started with wild ducks that Holly sometimes feeds, then saw the goats and ponies in a little paddock at the back of a farmers house, and lastly we met a rabbit and a couple of white ducks. Holly loves getting out of her room and being able to interact with the animals.

Arriving back at the centre after our walk, one of the therapists had bought in her two kittens for a special therapy session for Holly!

Photos: Holly in her special Kitten Therapy session!

On my visit today I met Holly’s dad Paul who had arrived the night before Adam left. The family has decided to try and organise back to back visits from family as much as possible to help keep Holly motivated, and give everyone vital quality time together while being able to witness Holly’s progress first hand. (Something that is very difficult when you live and work on the other side of the world.)

Anne told me that it was really difficult for Holly when Adam left, as she desperately wanted him to stay. It was a tough time but Holly is one strong lady who with the support of her mum and dad managed not to let this get in the way of her progress. Adam is already looking to head back over for another visit in January which Holly will no doubt be hanging out for. When Holly’s dad Paul heads back down under in the next few weeks, her brother David will be heading over to spend Christmas and Holly’s birthday with his mum and sister.


Above - Holly in her mouth therapy

I was able to sit in on 2 therapy sessions today, both of which were focused on activating Holly’s mouth muscles. The first thing that patients learn when they come out of a coma in intensive care is how to swallow again. This is harder than you would think, using some 50 muscles just to be able to swallow. Something we don’t even have to think about and that is seemingly so simple, is in fact very difficult when you have to consciously think about it and try to tell your body how to do it.

Luckily the amazing staff at the therapy centre have just the therapy for this next stage in Holly’s treatment. Using a mixture of ice cold cherry juice and medical size cotton buds, Holly’s mouth muscles are activated through her conscious thought and the cold stimulus. The result is consciously swallowing and trying to gain a controlled use of her voice. In this session Holly was able to consciously produce a sound on two occasions. The afternoon therapy session was also based on the same theory, activating the mouth muscles to react to a stimulus but this time getting Holly to stick out her tongue and use her mouth to hold the cotton bud. These therapies are all about getting the mouth functioning adequately so that Holly can speak and eat again. An aim that I look forward to seeing Holly conquer hopefully in the not to distant future!

Apart from her speech therapy today, Anne told me that Holly had also managed to climb 6 steps in a therapy session with help from her therapist earlier in the week. Her muscles are starting to strengthen more which helps with her movement, she has also said she wants to ride again, and is aware that she is not able to do so until she can sit up and hold her head up alone. This is one of the many motivations for Holly at the moment!

She is also able to spell quickly with her alphabet board, even having spelt a birthday mail to her brother and a mail for her friends on facebook that Anne then types on the computer for Holly. They now also have a much better internet set up so both Anne and Holly are really looking forward to the endless opportunities the internet has to offer those of us on the other side of the globe: Skype, Facebook, emails, youtube, horse news and even horse shows being televised live on the net. It is an exciting time and just the beginning of a new phase for both Holly and her family in what is sure to be a long journey…

It seems that every time I visit Holly she has made new progress and I am always impressed by her sheer determination. The battle this young woman is fighting to get her life back is a journey none of us would ever hope to have to make….

For all Holly’s friends, be sure to keep your eyes peeled on facebook for updates from Holly!

Holly’s website is constantly updated by her brother, the link is below.

http://www.hollymason.org/index.php?lang=en

Kelly Bauer's Library of Stories

The Adventures of Anky and Whizz
Hauptstadt Tournier Berlin - Dressage Report
Hauptstadt Tournier Berlin - Preview
Vale - Gigolo 23rd September, 2009
Donaueschingen CHI (Germany)
  Bundeschampionate 2009, Warendorf
2009 Alltech European Championships - Grand Prix Special Kűr

2009 Alltech European Jumping & Dressage
Championships, Windsor - Preview and Timetable

National Grand Prix - Winners at Munster
James Patterson-Robinson flies the Aussie flag in Munster
Turnier der Sieger 2009 - Medien Cup Report
Turnier der Sieger 2009 (Munster) Comp of Winners
Turnier der Sieger 2009 - Comp of the Winners Munster -
PreviewHansbeke (Belguim) CDI***
Holly Mason -  Aussie girl with a Dream
World Young Horse Championships 
European Juniors and Young Rider Champs - 1
 Ulla is Back!
Hickstead Highlights
German Road Show - Part 3
Aachen Show - Daily Reports and Aussies in Action
 Lingen 2009 Update
Weisbaden 2009 Pictorial Report
Report from Pferd International 2009

Cyberhorse 2009 Cyberhorse

 

21 November 2017
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