The Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, is using Nintendo’s Wii Sports to help a brain-injured boxer recover from his injury.
Albert Liaw suffered the injury during a match almost five months ago. Now, as part of his therapeutic treatment, Liaw plays the Wii Sports Boxing game, using the Wii Remote controller to help regain balance and coordination. “When I first played, I was in a wheelchair,” Liaw said. “Now I’m standing and I can box normal.”
The Glenrose Hospital is currently the only rehab center in Canada using the Wii as a therapy tool, according to occupational therapist Dan Simoneau. He said the fact the game is fun makes it much more palatable for patients than normal therapy regimens. “We try to use activity but there is only so many times you can bat a balloon around back and forth, and only so many times you can reach for a bean bag,” he said.
With the Wii, Simoneau said, “We could have him to therapy for an hour and he wouldn’t mind one bit. Now when I see him playing today it’s incredible to think back to where he was.”