Martha McCarthy

Martha McCarthy

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Martha Orders her Very Own Innowalk

In our quest for equipment to help with her on-going rehabilitation and daily physiotherapy, we were asked by Vida Global to trial a new piece of equipment called the Innowalk at a therapy conference in November. The device was designed in Norway and is commonly used by children there with disabilities as part of their daily physio routine. The Innowalk looks rather like a Cross Trainer but has a built in motor which provides assisted, guided and repetitive movement for the user in an upright, weight-bearing position. The movement of the legs in the Innowalk is similar to normal gait and it allows flexion and extension of the hip, knee and ankle joints. 

Martha walking in the Innowalk at the conference

Martha did incredibly well during the trial session and the physiotherapists at the conference were all blown away by how well she tolerated the movement. After just 12 minutes in the device, Martha’s usually tight ankle joints were flexible and the therapists all agreed that the equipment would be beneficial for Martha.

Together with our recent fundraising efforts, Martha's savings and very welcome donations by Ascot Round Table and Ascot Tangent, we were still only half way to our goal of raising £21,000 for the equipment by Easter. However, after a recent visit by the Sunninghill Trust we were absolutely delighted to hear that they had agreed to make up the funding difference by granting Martha £11,000. This is amazing news and we are so grateful to everyone who has helped us to reach our target even more quickly than we'd imagined.

The Innowalk is now on order and we hope to share more exciting news of it's arrival and Martha's progress in due course.  

Martha Goes on an Easter Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Martha was delighted to be chosen as one of the five "VIP" children to be taken by the Southampton based group 201 on the HCPT Easter pilgrimage to Lourdes in the South of France. Martha went with a fantastic group of people who support the group, along with a number of specially chosen young volunteers from local schools.

Martha wearing her Group 201 sweatshirt and hat at the airport
Martha went on Easter Saturday for a week of exciting activities as well as seeing the sights of Lourdes and attending church services and visiting the grotto.

Martha on the land train taking in the sights of Lourdes
The group also took a coach trip to Gavarnie in the Pyrenees.

Martha enjoying her trip to the mountains
We'd like to thank everyone involved in HCPT Group 201 for making Martha's first trip away from her parents such a fantastic adventure. We'd specially like to thank Carla, Cat, Molly and Roisin for taking such good care of Martha.

Martha First Footsteps Session of 2017

Martha attended her first Footsteps Centre sessions of 2017 in Oxford just before Easter. Martha successfully completed a programme of 2 hours of intensive physiotherapy each day for a three week period in the run up to Easter.

Martha's Certificate for Completing the Course

Martha found the sessions hard going as she still hasn't gained back all of her strength since her hip surgery in June 2016. Despite this Martha worked hard and we could see an improvement from the previous set in November 2016. The therapy, using the "Spider" equipment is very beneficial for Martha to promote the ability to weight bear and take steps. The costs of sending Martha to the Footsteps Centre is all funded privately as the NHS is unable to provide this type of intensive therapy for Martha and children like her.

Martha's Magic Quiz 2017

Martha's aunties, cousins and other family members again worked hard to put together a quiz night in March to raise money for Martha's on going needs.

2017 Quiz Night in Full Swing


The evening was a great success and approx 140 people had a super fun evening while supporting our beautiful girl.

We'd like to specially thank Kirsty, Gemma, Sharon and Trish for once again pulling out all the stops to support Martha, We really appreciate all your hard work and Martha benefits greatly from your efforts. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Martha Continues to Make Progress from her Hip Surgery

In June 2016 Martha underwent major hip reconstruction surgery. It has taken many months of hard work for Martha to recover from the operation but at a recent visit to see her orthopaedic consultant he was pleased that Martha was making good progress and she has now started being able to bear some weight in "free standing". Martha still has a long way to go to get back to full pre-op strength but we hope over time that she will be able to help with transfers and take some steps with support.


In our quest for equipment to help with her rehabilitation and daily physiotherapy, we were asked by Vida Global to trial a new piece of equipment called the Innowalk at a therapy conference in November. The device was designed in Norway and is commonly used by children there with disabilities as part of their daily physio routine. The Innowalk looks rather like a Cross Trainer but has a built in motor which provides assisted, guided and repetitive movement for the user in an upright, weight-bearing position. The movement of the legs in the Innowalk is similar to normal gait and it allows flexion and extension of the hip, knee and ankle joints. 

Martha walking in the Innowalk at the conference

Martha did incredibly well during the trial session and the physiotherapists at the conference were all blown away by how well she tolerated the movement. After just 12 minutes in the device, Martha’s usually tight ankle joints were flexible and the therapists all agreed that the equipment would be beneficial for Martha.

Having access to a piece of equipment like this would really benefit Martha and her recovery. Martha's family are about to start actively looking at how we can make this possible in the near future.

Martha Turns Ten Years Old

Martha recently celebrated her tenth birthday with family and friends. After having a lovely lunch at home Martha went to see the annual Quince Players pantomine, this year Jack and the Beanstalk.

Martha enjoying her birthday cake
Martha really enjoyed the singing and dancing in the show and was really excited when the cast and audience sang her Happy Birthday...!!!

Martha Enjoys Christmas with her Family

Martha had a lovely Christmas and spent time taking part in a number of activities with family and friends. Martha enjoyed a bowling trip, going to see the latest Disney film Moana and also attending the South Hill Park pantomime Cinderella for the first time.

Martha and Orla having fun together in their Christmas jumpers