Nintendo Wii helps patients in hospital rehab - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Nintendo Wii helps patients in hospital rehab

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - Patients at Baptist Hospital DeSoto are getting healthier and having fun doing it.  For two months, they've been using a Nintendo Wii to help recover from physical setbacks.

"It all works together, your therapy and your thinking and your motions with all of this," said patient Christine Leach. "It helps you."

Since the popular console made its debut, patients just can't seem to take their hands off it. 

"You get your strength back in your legs, arms, your body. It's really good," said patient Wiley Tuggle.

Patients can play anything from bowling to skiing.  89-year-old Christine Leach hasn't bowled in fifty years, but says she's getting a good workout. 

"You felt like you were in a bowling alley because you had to use the motions of getting that ball down that lane," she said.

Therapists say Wii helps patients forget why they're in the hospital.

"Its so fun they don't realize that it's actually a little bit of work as well," said physical therapist Wes Williams.

Patients say Wii gives them a new outlook on rehab.

"I was thinking I'm going to a good place, but I didn't expect to see this," Tuggle said. "This makes it much better.  A lot better!"

But, patients say, Wii isn't for the faint of heart.

"You've got to keep your mind on what you're doing," Leach said. "You've got to think whether or not your left or right or down the middle."

It's a game of coordination that puts patients on the road to recovery.

Baptist is also using Wii-Habilitation at its rehab facility in Germantown, and they're looking for ways to expand the program.

Click here to send an email to Justin Hanson.

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