Fishing 4 Therapy – achieving amazing things

TONY Steiner is the ANSA NSW Special Projects Officer who has taken the Fishing 4 Therapy notion head on, with the support of ANSA NSW. Tony has made some great inroads with disabled and brain injury acquired students ranging from 16-60 years of age and with 12 months’ worth of sessions under his belt has just about seen it all in terms of what we can give back as recreational anglers to those who need a hand.

It’s stories like this below that often move us all and it is fitting that I share this with the rest of the angling community. I will let Tony tell the story:

Sam is an old member of ANSA from the late ’70s early ’80s who suffered a stroke several years ago and due to depression and restrictions from this stroke found himself locked away in his home with only the occasional trip to the shops or doctors.

Head East, a rehabilitation group that Fishing 4 Therapy works with, mentioned to Sam that the fishing therapy was available to him and talked his carer and wife into bringing him down for a session. He then became an avid attendee, never missing a day and was always the first there in his walking frame and the last to pull in lines.

Sam had gone from “Mr Shy” to moving his frame around to all the other attendees, making sure baits were on correctly and removing tangles where he could. He was always giving me advice on how to do things better and get more fish, including telling us all fascinating stories of his 600kg marlin in Hawaii where he used to run fishing charters.

Sam was forced to move from his home in December 2011 to a unit and the stress of the move caused another major stroke. In short it has left him with only partial use of his left side and now he is in an electric wheel chair. From his hospital bed he tells everyone about the fishing and has made agreements with his therapists that if he reaches certain rehabilitation milestone stages they will let him fish with us again. After a few months he reached these milestones and has now returned for another session, bringing with him his therapist from St Vincents hospital and his wife. To their amazement he grabbed the fishing rod and held it firm, as firm as he could, and started to cast on his own – pushing away anyone trying to help. Once hooked up he accepted a small amount of help till he found a rythem and then brought in his fish unassisted. Not too shabby for someone who can’t dress himself without help.

Carers and therapists have been blown away with Sam’s results and have asked ANSA NSW to try to make a rehabilitation tool for him out of an old fishing rod so he can build up arm strength and movement. He’s going to be told it’s to help him get back into fishing faster!

The photo you see above is Sam shedding a few tears of joy after being able to get back to his passion. That’s the power of fishing.

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.