Hope and Recovery series– Karine

22 July 2019
Photo of Karine, Chief Therapist at the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre

Now in its 21st year, the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre continues to expand the array of services that it offers to patients of all ages. Physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy are each available at the centre, which now employs 73 staff and treats over 1,000 patients a year.

Founder and Director of the Centre, Vardan Tadevosyan and his staff continue to break the stigma surrounding disability through exemplifying what can be achieved with training and commitment. The Centre has brought about transformational change to people with disabilities who would have otherwise been isolated and neglected.

This series aims to highlight the experiences of the staff and patients at the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre.

Karine’s experience as chief therapist, physical therapy:

I have been here for 20 years, since the day the Centre opened. I first trained in Artsakh [at the centre] for one year. After we started working here, I went to Yerevan for more training in physical therapy. All staff at the Centre have updated training sessions in Yerevan every year. In 2012, I went to Russia for training in treating cerebral palsy but most of our training happens in Yerevan. Each year we have new training. In 2008/9, an infant specialist came to the Centre to teach us how to work with babies. She now visits every 6 months and the Centre is now able to treat more babies with neurodevelopment therapies. This is crucial as the earlier we start therapies, the more mobile the patient can become later in life.

[Impact on patients that work at the centre] When patients work at the centre, their confidence and independence soars. For example, with our statistician Arpine. Arpine arrived in a wheelchair in 2009 after she had a spinal cord injury and her feet became paralysed. After joining the Centre, Arpine’s struggle with her new reality began to reduce through the fierce support that she received from her family. She overcame her hardship and eventually joined Artsakh State University in 2012. During this time, she was studying for her exams in the Centre whilst also receiving treatment. When Arpine first arrived in 2009, she was unable to do anything for herself. After she graduated from university in 2012, it was her primary goal to get a job in order to boost her independence and self-confidence. So in 2012, Arpine joined the Centre’s staff as our statistician. Arpine is very responsible and hardworking and is now a professional computer programmer. She can even now drive and is showing society what can be achieved and we are so happy to have been able to help her achieve her dreams.

Some patients are now independent. Arsan has cerebral palsy and is now totally independent. He works at the centre on the computer, doing centre statistics and every month he calculates how many total patients we have, how many in-patients and all of the centre statistics, to send to the Ministry of Health.

[Ultimately], the community has a place for their disabled members and the centre is now a social hub.

How you can help support the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre:

HART’s support is equally as crucial – as the centre’s only other source of financing. HART funds crucially cover additional staff costs and pay for day trips and summer/winter camps for patients. These outings are a critical feature of the centre’s efforts to integrate its patients into society, develop patient’s social skills and enhance their confidence and subsequent independence. Additionally, the occupational therapies offered at the Centre are only possible through HART funding.

Even the smallest donation can go a long way at the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre. For example, a donation of £10 pounds covers all food and expenses for 2 autistic children to have a day out by Lake Sevan!

If you wish to donate, please visit the HART website and put a reference to ‘The Rehab Centre’.

For more information about Nagorno-Karabakh and HART’s work in the region, click here.

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