After suffering a severe infection at a young age, Nicole Cahill was left with severe motor disabilities and a high probability that she might never walk again.
Implementing the use of Wii Fit has become an increasingly popular trend in the world of physical therapy. It has even been used to help people walk again, as is the case with ten-year-old Nicole Cahill from Marshaltown, Ireland.
In June 2008, Nicole Cahill traveled to Beth Israel medical center in Manhattan, New York to seek treatment for her motor disabilities. Nicole was struck with a severe viral infection in 2004 that left her in a coma for twenty-four days. This infection led to a condition known as acute disseminating encephalitis, which causes brain swelling and can lead to a stroke. Both the swelling and strokes, left Nicole with severe disabilities. According to Nicole’s mother, Mairead, she was unable to move, swallow, or speak and had spent eight months receiving physiotherapy and injections for treatment. Before agreeing to receive treatment at Beth Israel, Mrs. Cahill told doctors she would not allow it unless they were "100 per cent sure [they could] do something for her."
After six months of rehabilitation treatment at Beth Israel, including the use of Wii Fit, Nicole Cahill amazed friends and family with her progress as she took her first steps in four years. The game was a key tool in her recovery as it incorporated both balance and stretch exercises, which were vital while working to strengthen her muscles. Mrs. Cahill stated that "the Wii Fit has really helped," and that it has "taken an awful lot of pressure off her as well."
Nicole is reportedly doing "really well" and is receiving six physical therapy sessions a week. She continues to use the Wii Fit exercises in her daily physiotherapy routine at the Ferrycarraig Hotel and is expected to walk unaided once again by the end of this year.