Thirteen-year-old Keri Brett from Fethard in County Tipperary has had more to contend with than most, and while doctor and hospital appointments are very much part of her routine, so too is a visit to osteopath Ian Wright in Clonmel Osteopaths.
Keri’s mother Clodagh Sweeney explained that her daughter has suffered from quadriplegic cerebral palsy since birth, due to complications during birth. “For the first two years of her life, she would scream 16 hours a day hysterically – it was awful. She was in awful pain,” her mother said.
Clodagh first brought Keri to see Ian when she was two and a half months old after she saw an advertisement for cranial osteopathy. “I couldn’t believe it when we went to the appointment and I could see that she was getting relief. There was so much going on with Keri at the beginning and she was in so much pain, it was very hard.”
Clodagh explained that after Keri started seeing Ian, she was still crying a lot, but it was reduced. “I could see that Ian was able to work with her and that he was helping to calm her. Over the years, Ian’s work with Keri has helped her dramatically. She wouldn’t manage without him and she is alive because of the treatments,” Clodagh explained.
Clodagh said that it wasn’t just the treatments, but also Ian’s gentle way with Keri and how he seemed to connect with her from that first appointment. “There is a huge difference in her after she sees him. Her breathing would become less strained and he helps to unblock her lungs, which would be under a lot of pressure.”
Speaking about the struggle of knowing that your child will not live a long and prosperous life, Clodagh says that staying positive is a big part of it. “It is what it is, you have to get up and get on with it. You have to live each day like it’s her last, so that she will have nothing but good memories.”
Clodagh explained that Keri used to take 17 different medications a day and now she takes just five. “When she was born, the doctor said that there was no way she would survive and I think that if she didn’t have Ian treating her, she wouldn’t have survived up until now.”