Manhattan girl with spina bifida gets virtual physical therapy

Health Check

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) Three year old Faith Herrman from Manhattan, KS, has spina bifida; experiencing physical challnges before she was even born.

“She was born with basically a hole in her back. Her spine was not completely formed. Prior to birth they did a surgical repair to seal her back up,” explains Allison Herrman, Faith’s mother.

Today, Faith has paralysis and weakness in her legs. She has used a wheelchair and a walker, but started going to physical therapy at Ascension Via Christi last Fall to begin using four arm crutches.

Herrman says, “Our goal for her is to be the most mobile she can be, however that ends up looking for her.”

But with concerns over the spread of coronavirus, Faith, her family, and a physical therapist at Ascension Via Christi had to provide virtual physical therapy sessions at home.

“I’ll give her cues and she’ll help Faith with what we’re working on. It’s definitely a lot of trial and error, (she is) weaving between cones, and then we do side stepping from one cone to the other,” explains Lindsay Schmidt, Faith’s Physical Therapist at Ascension Via Christi.

Herrman explains the process at home, “I have one hand full with the phone, and the other hand spotting her and giving her support.”

“Now she walks with the crutches and swings one up in the air. She has really good balance, which has improved a lot,” says Schmidt.

Creative techniques and hard work is helping Faith build mobility without in person therapy.

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