Meet Sammy – an inspiring young woman and wonderfully talented dancer!
Sammy has cortical dysplasia, epilepsy, autism and global developmental delay, and her family struggled to find activity classes that could support her needs.
Then, Sammy began attending ECHC’s Step Out Dance classes and something magical happened. She discovered she LOVES to dance!
Mum Alison says: “Sammy underwent major brain surgery in 2013, but unfortunately the operation wasn’t a success, and her seizures have been very bad for long periods since. She has drop seizures and myoclonic seizures, among others, which are especially difficult to manage.
- Alison, Sammy's mum
“When her seizures are bad, Sammy is unable to stand or walk and is very reluctant to move at all as she fears being unsteady or falling.
“She had previously had to stop attending a running bike group and horse riding because of her seizures, so we were unsure how she would get on at ECHC’s dance classes.
“But when she began to dance, she came alive. It was the first time she had been out of her wheelchair in as long as we could remember! She was so keen to join in. I was utterly amazed.
“Getting Sammy to go anywhere can be a real challenge, sometimes she doesn’t even want to go into the garden. But every week she looks forward to going to the dance group. It gives her something to really focus on and she gets so excited to practice the moves.
“It’s beneficial for her mentally but also physically as it works her muscles and helps her balance. Even I go to the group feeling relaxed, which is unusual, because I know we are 100% accepted. It’s so inclusive – a really ‘can do’ environment.
“She has quite a few seizures during classes but she wears a helmet and I just lay her down until she comes out, then she gets up and carries on. To see her enjoyment is wonderful and to watch her moving is so nice. It’s as if she’s so eager to take part, she forgets any worries about falling or having seizures that might hold her back.”
It is only thanks to donations from wonderful supporters like you that we can bring the joy of dancing both into the hospital and to the community, and make a life-changing difference to young people like Sammy.