When sixteen years old Micaela -- who was born with a rare liver disease -- fell ill with the flu three years ago, it developed into meningitis and encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain that left her completely paralyzed. She was unable to speak, move or communicate.
Having attended laughing exercise groups in the past, Micaela's family was confident she could recover with the help of her sense of humour.
"We knew she could hear us -- she got the punch lines, she knew the jokes were there," said mom Judith, who requested the family's surname be withheld.
With the help of two therapeutic clowns, Jumpa, a.k.a. Fif Fernandes, and Sparkle, a.k.a. Cheryl Oberg, at the Alberta Children's Hospital, Micaela began laughter yoga, to reduce pain and stress and increase oxygen intake through breathing and laughing exercises.
"Three years ago we weren't sure we'd get to bring her home, so this is good, we're glad we're here," said Judith.
Laughter yoga helped Micaela exercise her lungs and vocal muscles, allowing her to start speaking again and while still confined to a wheelchair, she has gained some motion back.
To read the entire article, click here: http://www.albertahealthservices.com/4569.asp
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