Nolan Rooms, from Queensland, Australia, was born three months premature; at two weeks old he contracted two serious infections which caused him to lose forty percent of his brain cells. The brain cells lost were mainly from the left side of his brain, responsible for motor skills. Nolan was diagnosed with a severe form of cerebral palsy and doctors told his parents that he would live his life as a ‘vegetable’, never being able to swallow food, crawl or walk.
Nolan, now two years old, is able to sit up on his own, eat solids and crawl. His parents say that his amazing progress is thanks to two alternative therapies – Vojta therapy and the TheraSuit method. Nolan does three hours of therapy each day and his parents are confident that in the future he will be able to walk with an aide and potentially without the help of an aide.
‘In the first year he didn’t develop at all. He couldn’t roll over and I couldn’t put him on his tummy because he went blue. He couldn’t straighten his arms or unclench his fists. He couldn’t move or do anything – his limbs started to slowly deform.’ – Nicole Rooms, mother of Nolan
At eight months old Nolan began daily treatment with Vojta therapy and after just one week of sessions was able to open his hand and reach for a toy. Vojta therapy or reflex locomotion was discovered by Václav Vojta and works with specific reflex points to stimulate the body to turn or crawl. By applying pressure to the appropriate reflex points the major muscle groups in the body are activated, breathing is regulated and mental activity increased.
Nolan’s parents soon heard about another therapy available in the US, TheraSuit, and decided to take their son overseas for two months of treatment. The TheraSuit method is a structured program which uses tools and exercises to treat patients with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders. One of these tools is the soft dynamic proprioceptive orthosis or TheraSuit, which aligns the body and re-establishes the correct postural alignment, crucial in normalising muscle tone and sensory and vestibular function.
Nolan’s mother, Nicole Rooms, described to Daily Mail Australia how seeing each step of Nolan’s progress has been like experiencing miracles.
‘The doctors were very amazed. When we used to go to the doctors, they would just prescribe medication or equipment. But we were always against it. Now they keep saying, “Whatever you’re doing keep doing it”.’