1st of May 2015 – ‘A Smile with MIRA’ charity was opened, a clinical rehabilitation centre offering treatment to children from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Our mission is to provide enjoyable and effective rehabilitation at the centre, for the children to be able to regain function and joyfully perform their everyday activities. We aim to offer treatment plans that are free-of-charge or affordable, as our greatest desire is to be able to deliver access to healthcare to each and every child, regardless of their social background and financial situation.
To date, several patients have benefited from the care provided at the centre, and among them we can count children from difficult backgrounds, like those who have suffered from abuse and neglect.
Our team consists of physicians, volunteers and students, who all contribute towards giving each child the best possible care. The combination of physiotherapists, physicians and psychologists provides children a fully integrated care.
Since its inception, ‘A Smile with MIRA’ has supported a total of 48 children, 45 of which attend the centre regularly. From a financial perspective, we have recorded an income of just over £11,000, which has been re-invested wisely in the centre, to ensure the children receive an excellent standard of care.
The Importance of MIRA at the Centre
The treatment offered at the centre includes both established standard procedures and innovative technology, such as MIRA. Designed by MIRA Rehab Limited, the MIRA platform is a software medical device that enables patients in need of rehabilitation to exercise in a fun and easier way. This novel tool reduces children’s reluctance to engage in physiotherapy by making use of `exergames` to encourage exercise and correct movement during therapy sessions.
“Of the more than 45 children who come to our centre, besides suffering from rare disorders, many are also dealing with financial difficulties. We have encountered families that have hardships in everyday life, especially if you have to bear the costs of a rehabilitation treatment which is required 2-3 times a week for an unlimited period.
Casian and Victor, two brothers coming from a family of eight living all in one room, are suffering from a very rare disease. They go to a special school in Cluj where they are well cared for, having a great tutor we collaborate with very well.
All these children contribute to our happiness as well, they make us feel grateful that we have the chance to give a helping hand and to contribute in improving their health.”
– Ovidiu – Co-founder and Manager of A smile with MIRA
“It’s been a year since I started my work here. I met a broad spectrum of health problems, such as different types of cerebral palsy, paralysis of the brachial plexus, prematurely born children, autism, disorders of static spine, orthopaedic conditions, as well as different syndromes: Down, Prader Willi, West, Pierre Robin, and Sturge Weber. Besides the procedures of massage and physiotherapy, we also use Vojta, especially for infants, the Schroth method for patients with disorders of static spine, and of course MIRA-based physical therapy through play. The youngest child who uses MIRA within our association is a little girl of 2 years and 9 months.
I believe that the MIRA platform can be successfully used by children with various disorders of motor function and benefits in training static and dynamic balance, mobility, muscle strength, postural control, coordination and attention. […]For most children we observed a greater degree of involvement and execution of movements with MIRA compared to conventional physiotherapy exercises.
For mobility training we addressed mainly upper limb mobility with different suitable games that we found are more easily understood and executed by the child. To increase strength we use different weights and elastic bands together with the exergames.”
– Ciprian- Physiotherapist at A Smile with MIRA
In the upcoming year, we plan to expand the activities offered by the centre, and increase the number of children receiving treatment. We aim to develop comprehensive voluntary programmes, to formally train the volunteers on how to care for the children visiting the centre. Furthermore, we aim to expand our centre location, by including an additional floor of the same building, which is now available, to accommodate more treatment space.
The care delivered at A Smile with MIRA would not have been possible without the help from all those amazing people who support us continually from the beginning: volunteers, partners and investors. We are very grateful for all the donations we have received, as with your help, countless smiles have been put on the faces of the children at our centre.
“Nora goes to the MIRA therapy centre with great pleasure, and this, for me as a mom, matters a lot: to see that she enjoys hearing about Ciprian [a physiotherapist at ‘A smile with MIRA’], and does not cry, as she did in many other cases. MIRA therapy for my 6-year-old daughter is a reward, another way to play, and she doesn’t perceive it as a therapy at all (…). Thank you very much for all that you are doing for us!”
– Andreea (Mother of a patient at A Smile with MIRA)
“I am very happy that I have a one-year old child, who was not sitting well at 9 months when I came to the MIRA clinic, and [now] he can crawl on all fours and almost stands up, which for a baby born prematurely at 28 weeks is not a small thing. These are sincere thoughts that we share with love, and I would be glad to know they can count towards the choice that a parent has to make for their baby.”
– Mihaela (Mother of a patient at A Smile with MIRA)
“I want [to say] in a few words and I don’t know if they will be enough, to acknowledge the professional and emotional involvement of these people who have worked and are still working with my son. It’s a wonder what happens at the centre, and how much effort the whole team is making for these children!”
– Gabriela (Mother of a patient at A Smile with MIRA)