Boo Boo was recently approved to receive a Hart Walker. This is an amazing piece of kit. At first view, it looks like some torture rack from the days of the Inquisition. But it's actually an ingenious machine that teaches kids how to walk the way you and I take for granted. In that sense it's a gait trainer, once strapped in you have to walk by moving your knees up and down and keep your legs apart. No tip toeing, no knee knocking and no skateboarding like on the Kaye walker. You see, with the Kaye walker you use your hands to move the walker forwards, and as long as your legs support you and keep you upright, you walk. But many kids end up using their legs to push off in any sort of way, there is no need to do the normal walking movement. Well, the Hart Walker is designed to make you do that. This way, the brain has to work out that walking comes from the legs and not the arms. And your legs build up muscle memory of what walking means.
We were very lucky that Boo Boo was approved for the scheme. I was expecting to either spend many months on a waiting list, or pay for it ourselves, yet again. But we got even luckier - the Australian Lions Children’s Mobility Foundation agreed to fund a Hart Walker for our Boo Boo.
She was very exited to get this - and you should have seen her face when she realised she had her arms free with this walker, and all movement had to come from her legs...
So, this is the first piece of kit ever - yes, ever, for both our kids - that we did not cover ourselves or within our extended family.
While for us this is amazing in itself, just wait until you hear who did pay for the walker: Vic did!
This on the left is Vic. Yes, he paid for the walker. And no, we had never met Vic before.
Vic is an 87 year old retiree. Who decided to donate some money to the Australian Lions Children’s Mobility Foundation so that a child he had never met before got a chance to learn to walk.
Vic is at an age where, in my view, he is totally justified to think about himself and his own health only. Yet here he is, unselfishly donating money to help a total stranger. What a man eh?! He is an inspiration!
Vic might have donated money to a stranger. But he's no longer a stranger to us.