A special clinic in the Greater Hartford Area has a unique approach when it comes to helping those living with mental and physical disabilities.
Bill Baiocchi said he had a stroke about a year and four months.
“It has been a life-changing road,” he said. “Let's put it that way.”
Baiocchi said he was left with little to no feeling on his right side.
“When it first happens, you think you're losing everything,” Baiocchi said.
However, Baiocchi said thanks to Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital's adaptive cycling clinic, he was able to get his life back.
“Once you get on it, and get used to it, and get the confidence, after 5 or 10 minutes this is great,” Baiocchi said while showing off some of the equipment at the cycling clinic. “I have the full use of my left, and not much with the right. But they teach you how to do everything with one hand.”
Baiocchi and others, who are learning to live without full function of their body, are now finding strength through this special program.
“Although we say somebody may have a disability, independence can be acquired within anything that, that individual chooses to do,” Paige McCullough-Casciano, who is a recreational therapist at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, said.
The clinic offers hand cycles, recumbent cycles and power-assist cycles for those who need a little boost.
“They can be peddling at 4 mph, but use a power boost. So that they're riding at 8 [mph] or riding at 12 [mph] with their family member,” Ti Trikes co-owner Kenneth Messier said.
The recumbent cycles this clinic uses are unique in the sense that they're easy to get in and out of, especially for someone in a wheelchair.
Messier explained the recumbent trike has always been a very low seated trike such as 9 inches to 11 inches.
“Ours is at 18-inches, so it's the same height of a chair,” Messier said.
Eyewitness News found out the support is experienced on all levels at this clinic.
Baiocchi said he even serves as a mentor to his peers.
“They need to get their self-confidence back, their self-esteem back and try focusing on getting better and getting as strong as they can get,” Baiocchi said.
For more information about the Saint Francis Foundation, click here or call at 860-714-4900.
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