Fasiu & Tracey's Story – NDIS Success


We regularly hear of the success stories of Australians who have improved their lives due to exercise interventions with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist through NDIS funding. Here’s an inspiring NDIS story for our 30th anniversary.

After being referred to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Fasiu saw a dramatic improvement to his health and lifestyle after just three months of his exercise program with Tracey. One of the best parts of Fasiu’s story though, is the social connections and friendships he made during his treatment, including being a mentor for other amputee patients.

Fasiu's journey is a success story for the NDIS of how exercise is medicine and the important role Accredited Exercise Physiologists play within this scheme.

Fasiu’s diagnosis
In 2015, Fasiu was diagnosed with JK321 neoplasma, a rare blood disorder. Very quickly Fasiu was faced with the tough reality that his only option to survive was a bilateral lower limb amputation at his knees. Fasiu had no option but to go ahead with the surgery. Hospitalised then from June 2015 until August 2016, Fasiu returned home to adjust to his new normal. Sadly, after a change in circumstance, Fasiu was also facing this new life alone.

Fast forward to 2018, and Fasiu was provided his new prosthetics, but even after 12+ months, Fasiu was still heavily reliant on his wheelchair for mobility. Determined to improve his balance and better manage his daily living activities, Fasiu’s new goal became that he wanted to return to “as normal a life as possible”.

In July 2020, Fasiu was referred to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for his bilateral amputation where he began working with Tracey at Soul Fit Woonona.

When Fasiu commenced his exercise program with Tracey, he relied heavily on his wheelchair and walking frame for mobility. A 10m walk test took him 10.19 seconds to complete and he found most of the physical assessments difficult. The Berg Balance Test revealed he was at an increased risk of falling and strength tests showed poor upper and lower limb strength. When completing the sit to stand test, Fasiu required the use of support to execute the movement. Fasiu’s blood pressure was high (level 2), and on top of living with Type II Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), he was generally in poor health.

His inspiring recovery
When we interviewed Tracey about Fasiu’s process in October 2020, Fasiu was walking with more confidence, able to step up and down off a step without support, could complete the sit to stand exercise without support, and even reduced his 10m walk test to 4.01 seconds. He had increased his upper limb strength dramatically and could complete a wall-sit exercise for 2.23 minutes. He was even walking backwards!

Fasiu reported being able to complete tasks like getting out of bed, washing up, and hanging out his laundry without support and independently, and with greater ease. His health had improved significantly with his blood pressure reducing to a healthier range.

On top of his health improvements, Fasiu has also connected with members of his gym and made some wonderful social connections and he has been mentoring other amputee patients at the hospital where he was treated – a true inspiration and fighter!
Their journey together
Since they started working together, Tracey has been in awe of Fasiu’s hard work and improvements:

"It’s hard to wipe the smile off his face! Fasiu has been a delight to work with. He has rarely missed a session and no matter what is asked of him, he tries his best to complete the task. He continues to exercise independently, at home, and at the gym, and his results speak for themselves. I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for this truly inspirational man. Well done Fasiu!"

Fasiu also reflected fondly on his exercise journey with Tracey:

"I came to Tracey to improve my balance and be able to complete activities of daily living with greater ease. Three months into the exercise intervention and my health has improved dramatically. Exercise has helped in reducing my blood pressure, managing my blood sugar and insulin levels, helped control my weight, and made me stronger. Completing everyday tasks has become easier, and I can move about with more confidence too. Thank you so much Tracey for your professionalism and support. It got me to where I am today! The sky is the limit now."

Seeing an AEP through the NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides support for Australians with a permanent and significant disability and their families and carers. It is designed to support people with disability to develop skills and capacity so they can participate in work and community life.

The NDIS is responsible for funding allied health and other therapy services related to a person’s disability – this includes Exercise Physiology.

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) have expert knowledge on the human body and the role of exercise in health, fitness, and reducing the onset of chronic conditions symptoms and disabilities. AEPs develop exercise programs for people with a wide variety of disabilities to help them manage their condition and build capacity for activities of daily living. Their knowledge and extensive training then allow them to provide safe and effective, tailored exercise programs to any person that steps through their doors.

AEPs can help people living with a disability to live healthier lifestyles, gain independence and participate at work and in the community. This Exercise Right blog provides a little more insight in to how an AEP can work with NDIS participants. 

Thank you to Tracey for sharing Fasiu’s inspiring story with us.

If you'd like to find an ESSA accredited professional in your area, visit our online search function today. If you’d like to find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist who is an NDIS Provider, you can select this option under ‘Claiming’ before searching.

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Tracey and Fasiu

Supporting health through exercise for 30 years 

To celebrate 30 years of Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA), we are reflecting on 30 stories which commemorate the profound impact the exercise and sports science industry and its professionals have had on our communities, and how they have benefited the health landscape in Australia.

Click here to read more like this one