web stats

Kerry's story

 

Kerry S was diagnosed with MND in 2010, this lead to difficulties with his speech and the need for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Since discovering Predictable, he was been able to communicate again with his loved ones, professionals and friends.

Before he was diagnosed with MND, Kerry was a carpenter site foreman, a job that he loved doing. He was also a scuba diver for 30 years and swam three times a week. He enjoyed playing Octopush (Underwater hockey) for many years - travelling to Holland and Europe to play tournaments.

Kerry's speech problems started with slurring. Kerry found people were unable to understand him over the phone, or in meetings for the contracts he was managing for work. He tried using pen and paper first. He then tried a LiteWriter, for face-to-face communication but found it "a bit outdated, cumbersome and difficult to operate." In 2011, Kerry was given funding from the Motor Neurone Disease Association and bought an iPad. He could use the app Proloquo2Go, which Kerry and his wife Kathy reported was good. However, with time, Kerry lost the use of his right hand, which meant he couldn't access the app on the iPad's touch screen. This had a big impact, and he could no longer talk to his wife of 37 years, Kathy, to explain his basic needs to his family or to the carers and therapy team which was essential in his day to day routine.

Two months later, he found Predictable when his therapist at Bart's Hospital brought Kerry to the offices at Therapy Box to try out the app and the switch access. Kerry was able to access Predictable on his iPad using 2 switches which he accesses via foot movement. He found this app easy to use and has been using it every day since. . "Kerry is unable to use his arms any longer, but now uses the app via two jelly bean switches which he operates with his feet. The kit has had a very valuable and important impact on his ability to communicate," says Kathy.

Kerry has said that his quality of life has improved since finding Predictable: "I can at last have a voice once more. Having a voice is just so important because you feel so isolated, and that decisions were being made for you instead of with you", says Kerry. Through using this technology, Kerry is now able to be part of the conversation once again.

Share this story