Case Study

Scenario of Case Study

In July 2015 Robert (name was changed to protect identity) ferried Lizzy, his daughter, to school in the morning. He stopped when the traffic light was red, but the car behind him did not do so and crashed onto his car. That jerk caused a subluxation onto Lizzy’s spine and caused her inability to move her lower limbs. She was brought to a nearby hospital. Routine MVA observation and X-ray were carried out. At 10.00 pm Lizzy had difficulty in breathing. An air-way was inserted into her trachea (wind pipe) to pipe in oxygen directly. The medical specialist there told Robert and his wife, that Lizzy would be a paraplegic for life. Robert could not accept this diagnosis and vowed that he would do anything to restore Lizzy’s health.

Robert transferred Lizzy to a private specialist hospital where she underwent a tracheostomy and a spinal surgery. After 2 weeks stay in the ICU, Lizzy was brought home with a ventilator. In that hospital Robert bumped into Lizzy’s paediatrician who suggested that Robert consult the opinion of a neurologist in Singapore. Robert called Ms. Angela Chen at the Parkway Patient Assistance Centre. A video clipping was done and posted to Mr. Rajendran at Singapore Gleneagles Hospital.

In September 2015 Lizzy underwent 2nd spinal surgery in Singapore Gleneagles Hospital. On day 2 of surgery Lizzy could move her right leg. An improved version of tracheostomy tube was inserted. Speech & occupational therapists taught her to speak and eat with the tracheostomy tube remained in in her wind pipe. On day 10 Lizzy went home. She did not need oxygen therapy at day time. Subsequently Lizzy went to see Mr. Rajendran at monthly interval. On each visit the lumen of her tracheostomy tube was reduced a little. Five months later, in February 2016, the tracheostomy tube was removed.

Lizzy received intensive physiotherapy and acupuncture in New Hope Medic in Ipoh. The cost of her stay in that centre, excluding meals, was RM 15 thousand per month. It proved effective. On arrival at the centre in December 2015 Lizzy was stretcher carried to the 2nd floor. Eight months down the road Lizzy could walk downstairs with the aid of a walking stick and assisted by her mum.

In October 2016 Robert bought a swimming pool home. He had it fitted with a treadmill so that e Lizzy could have hydrotherapy in the back yard of the house. A TV screen was mounted on the wall opposite the swimming pool. Lizzy could do her physical work out in the water, following the instruction aerobic teachers in the video tapes. Besides that she also practised walking between parallel bars in the hall. At our home visit to Lizzy in May 2017 she was undergoing an aromatherapy which made her relaxed, slept well and made her to have a appetite for food. Her immunity against infection had improved. This was evidenced by fact that she was spared from getting the flu when other household members were infected with upper respiratory infection in the Chinese New Year season.

The multidisciplinary care approach and the “never- give-up” attitude of Lizzy’s parents have successfully converted Lizzy’s fate from that of a paraplegic. At the time of interview, Lizzy was making preparation in her studies with the objective of going back to school in 2018.