A little girl with cerebral palsy has conquered the mountains, triathlons, horseback riding and now surfing thanks to an incredible team of scientists

The smile on Imogen Ashwell-Lewis’ face says it all! Aged 10, with cerebral palsy, he was able to surf the waves for the first time thanks to a specially designed board.

It’s the latest piece of equipment that has been designed for the girl from Caldicot, Monmouthshire, by a team from Swansea University to help her overcome a series of challenges.

Thanks to them, Imogen was able to climb mountains, participate in triathlons and even go horseback riding.

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In the latest endeavor, Dr Ross Head and his team at the Cerebra Innovation Center (CIC) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David adapted a pink surfboard for Imogen, so that with a little help, she can ride the waves like everyone else.

CIC’s philosophy is simple: if kids can dream big, they can do big. The work undertaken by the CIC team ensures that children have the opportunity to achieve their goals and participate in activities ranging from surfing to horseback riding – and even taking part in triathlons.

The board was made in the color pink for Imogen

She loved trying out the new board

Imogen’s smile says it all.

Dr Head said: “We chose to adapt existing boards to show that it’s really easy and kids can then choose their own board, color, brand, just like anyone else, and with a little adaptation, they can surf.”

Imogen’s mother, Catherine Ashwell-Lewis, said: ‘We are so thankful and thankful. Imogen had an amazing time and is completely in love with the pink board, it’s so much easier than the lying board she’s been using so far.

It’s the latest in a series of projects undertaken by DUC to help Imogen, which have included custom-made riding helmets and also allowed her to compete in triathlon events and even climb Pen-y-fan.

She was six years old when she conquered the mountains in the Brecon Beacons using a modified four-wheel downhill bike. Learn more about this climb here.

At the top of Pen y Fan

In addition to her personal achievement, Imogen’s challenge was to raise awareness of the charity’s work with families who have children with brain conditions.

Dr. Head and his team develop logical, innovative and fun solutions for children with brain disorders. Their designs aim to reduce some of the social stigma associated with disabilities by making not only functional products but also beautiful products for amazing young people.

Some of their products are one-off bespoke designs, others are made in small batches, and some are designed with the commercial market in mind.

The Cerebra Innovation Center is a collaborative partnership between Cerebra and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David with the team based in the University’s Alex Building in Swansea.

CIC is also part of ATiC – the Assistive Technology Innovation Center within the University – and has a demonstrable track record in practice-based research and development to support medical companies and health organizations. healthcare-related charities. ATiC’s work is primarily human-centered and innovation-driven, enabling researchers to collaborate with companies to develop creative interventions that improve health and well-being.

It is designed to support research collaborations in the life sciences across Wales and builds on UWTSD’s achievements in developing excellence in research and innovation in health and social services.

For more information about the charity Cerebra, visit here.


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