Fight the virus

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, kindergartens, schools and rehab centers in many countries are closed. A great challenge for parents who need to become teachers and carers in addition to their daily tasks. For parents of children with disabilities, this task is difficult to accomplish, because many public and private therapists have closed their practices, and fragile children are undergoing a high risk of regressions of previously acquired goals. To support them, our Making More Health fellow Francesca Fedeli and her company Fight The Stroke offers special tools for remote therapy during social distancing due to the crisis. 

With Fight The Stroke, Francesca and her husband are raising awareness of perinatal and pediatric strokes as well as Cerebral Palsy. The Foundation was founded after their own son had suffered a stroke. In 2016 they invented Mirrorable Online, an interactive rehab platform, which enables children who have undergone brain damage at a very early stage of their life, which impacts their motor skills, to follow an Action Observation Treatment.

Four years later, Fight The Stroke includes a large network of families, who participated in an experimental Mirrorable tele-rehabilitation program. During this time, Francesca has also improved their tele-rehabilitation and tele-coaching sessions based on clinical studies. Now that demand for remote therapy sessions has surged, her work pays off.

Tele-rehabilitation will be the new normal

A social media poll in the Fight the Stroke community revealed that in April 2020 50% of the families were contacted by the respective regional government that the therapies could no longer be carried out in the rehabilitation centers. However, only 1/3 of the respondents received the offer for concrete teletherapy sessions, most of them were just a courtesy call.

“With Italy been impacted so heavily by the covid-19 pandemic, we suddenly addressed the basic needs of our beneficiaries opening up a dedicated channel, #fightthevirus, aimed to provide families and children with self-help online tools: we strongly believe that the first cure is being at their side, while everyone has left them alone. Then we released tele-rehabilitation guidelines to provide national and international therapists with the right advices to set up a remote session with their little patients: in few months, we received hundreds of requests from different healthcare systems who wanted to take advantage of our Mirrorable experience. Next steps will be to sustain therapists that have been forced to left their jobs: we want to use private rooms tool on Facebook to provide families in need with free of charge sessions, while paying therapists for their job. We have shown with our example that families like ours can be the real welfare system,” says Francesca.

For further information about Fight the Stroke click here.