Te Mana Hauora O Te Tairawhiti
1 March 2017
Jasmine Dunlop is a young woman with a progressive neurological disease. The disease is robbing her of her ability to speak. As mum to baby Kyson, Jasmine wants her husband and her son to hear her say things like “I love you” in her own voice as the disease progresses.
Gisborne Hospital Speech Language Therapists Jaimee Brownfield and Leanne Thomas provide assessment and management of communication for people with progressive loss of their communication.
Leanne had talked to Jasmine about an alternative communication system which includes the use of iPad applications to provide voice output and functional support for communication. Leanne encouraged Jasmine to start recording functional things she wants to say now. Her own speech can then be played later to people around her through the iPad, even when her voice is no longer working.
Unfortunately, Jasmine didn’t have an iPad. The waiting list to get an appointment with the organisation that assesses and provides devices for people with communication needs was about 12 months long. This presented a race against time as Jasmine’s speech was becoming increasingly unintelligible.
That’s where Michael Fenwick at Giz-Tec came in. After being approached he was happy to donate an iPad to Jasmine so she could start those important voice recordings immediately. He also offered to help get the relevant apps loaded so it was easy for Jasmine to use.
While Jasmine has a voice we have a good chance of saving a good bank of vocabulary, says Leanne. “This has the potential to make an enormous difference in the lives of Jasmine, her husband and baby Kyson.”
“Thanks to Michael’s generosity we have begun recording Jasmine’s voice. Jasmine directs what vocabulary goes into a program and what things she wants to say. By providing this device, Giz-Tec has allowed Jasmine to have some control over the disease.”