Dolphin Therapy helped Serge: he smiles, concentrates better and is more alert of his environment.
Haltern: I am awaited. The thirteen year old Serge is excited, beaming at me through his thick spectacles. His mother, Dodo Akpaqnonite, wants to explain who the guest is, but Serge remembers my first visit, he knows why I have come, and he laughs into the camera.
”Serge is looser, more relaxed. He could open his hands and hold the dolphin’s fin. And he smiled a lot”. Dodo Akpaqnonite, Serge’s mother.
The severely disabled boy, who once could not move his arms, sat waiting. ”Hi, how are you?” I could even shake his hand. He grinned at me, which meant ”Everything’s OK”. I met Serge and his mother a year ago. She was tired, but she would not be beaten. Serge could neither concentrate nor coordinate his cramped hands. Even though he was strapped into a wheel chair he was always moving. His head shook with every change in mood. Had his wheel chair not been fully padded he would have been covered in bruises. His mother was constantly removing spittle from his chin. Now she needs to remind him to wipe himself, and usually he can. He can even open his hands.
Ten months ago during my visit he was sitting apathetically in his wheel chair. Now, he wants to ‘join in’ the conversation, laughing, humming, hand movements, rolling his eyes or blinking, he follows our conversation.
The mother related that she arrived back from Turkey on Tuesday. He had been in Marmaris for Dolphin Therapy, visiting ‘Flip’, ‘Frosia’ and ‘Jonas’, with his mother Dodo for two weeks. Their stay in Marmaris, said the mother, was very good. Not only a holiday, but also hard work for everyone. In the mornings were the dolphin sessions, in the afternoons were Cranio-Sacral and Physio-therapy. Serge changed after his third meeting with the dolphins. The therapy for the young boy was made possible by contributions from many of our readers. They were so moved by our Report on Serge’s unfortunate condition that they donated for his Dolphin Therapy. ”Serge is looser, more relaxed. He could open his hands and hold the dolphin’s fin. And he smiled a lot. Said Dodo Akpaqnonite, Serge’s mother.
He is still like that now, a week after returning to Haltern. Serge communicates with his environment, he is much more alert, he concentrates. Thanks to the dolphin therapy in Turkey he can hold his arms and feet straight, and sit relaxed.
As Dodo Akpaqnonite mentioned ‘Flip’, Serge became active. He lifted his hand and with his pointed finger made circles in the air. ‘The symbol for dolphins circling in the water’ said Dodo. As she played short videos of Serge’s therapy sessions, he reacted straight away to the singing of the dolphins. He realizes that they are not really there, relaxes again but smiled happily.
The therapy, said Mama Dodo, was a stroke of good luck for Serge. He made positive developments. She hopes to continue, but she does not have the necessary almost 9000 Euros. She will ask Dieter Schart, Chairman of the Campaign ”Dolphin e.V. – help for ill children”. She fights for every improvement for Serge. She will never give up.
Now she says ”Thank you!” – to the ”Dolphin e.V.” club in Oldenburg, the ”Onmega Therapy Center” in Turkey, as also to the many contributors
Dodo Akpaqnonite fled from Togo with Serge in 2004, they have been living in Haltern since 2005. Forty days after his birth, Serge experienced fits of cramp that led to a severe disability. Serge cannot walk, nor can he eat on his own, during dolphin therapy he stood for 10 seconds. Dolphin Therapy is specially and individually conformed for disabled children with special needs. Using a combination of treatments the dolphin is the motivator and the reward for improved behavior (physical, mental and emotional).
Article by Halterner Newspaper, 30.10.2012, Author: Elke Rüdiger