Guy’s story – Speech Pathology Week 2022
In 2008, Cabrini patient Guy was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike. In Speech Pathology Week (21 – 27 August) he shares the story of how the accident affected his life in unexpected ways.
Guy’s collision resulted in a traumatic brain injury and affected his concentration, memory, gait and swallowing. Guy completed therapy to regain his body strength, and became aware of foods that were more difficult to eat, such as nuts and seeds. He’d been managing well, until the last few years.
In 2020 and 2021, Guy noticed that eating became more and more difficult and that he was losing a lot of weight. As a result, he was admitted to hospital with a serious chest infection.
Guy was in hospital for 10 weeks and received multiple rounds of intravenous antibiotics. During his admission, Guy was assessed by the speech pathology team, who completed various swallowing assessments to determine the safety of his swallowing. This included an X-ray of Guy’s swallow function (videofluoroscopy). As a result, it was recommended that Guy remain nil by mouth (no food/fluid orally) and a PEG (feeding tube) was inserted.
On discharge from hospital, Guy attended outpatient rehabilitation to continue working on his swallowing. He worked closely with the outpatient speech pathologist to improve his cough response and strength using an EMST device (respiratory muscle strength training), and completed an intensive swallowing program (McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program).
Guy was diligent in completing prescribed daily practice and was able to recommence eating and drinking orally. A few months down the track, Guy continues to enjoy eating most food textures and fluids orally and no longer requires his feeding tube.
“Swallowing is much easier in general not only because of my technique but also because the muscles used in swallowing are stronger. I am a lot more confident when approaching food and drink. I have met my goals to eat and drink again for enjoyment.”- Guy, 2022
To learn more about Speech Pathology and other Allied Health services at Cabrini, visit www.cabrini.com.au/allied-health