Spouses’ club donates Wiis for therapy at Landstuhl
LANDSTUHL, Germany — Thanks to a donation, troops recovering at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center will be putting the Wii in physical and occupational therapy.
On Tuesday morning, the Ramstein Enlisted Spouses’ Association presented the Landstuhl occupation therapy clinic with two hard-to-find Nintendo Wii gaming systems, a few games and associated equipment. The donation of about $1,000 worth of gaming gear came from funds raised by the association through the Ramstein thrift shop.
Nintendo’s Wii became available to consumers late last year and is extremely popular because of its unique controllers. Unlike other home video game systems, Wii uses motion-sensing controllers that have players/patients moving their wrists, elbows and shoulders.
The Wiis offer a fun alternative to some of the clinic’s machines that can become tedious during therapy.
“If you have something fun for somebody, they’re going to do it longer, which means they’re going to heal faster and progress better,” said Daelin Miller of the Ramstein spouses group. Miller also has a background in recreational therapy.
A sailor stationed at Landstuhl had loaned his Wii to the clinic, but the clinic did not have a system dedicated to the shop. Clinic therapists used the system to treat patients familiar and comfortable with video games. Focused on the games, recovering troops would get their therapy without noticing it.
The spouses’ association learned about the clinic’s use of the loaner Wii through a June story first published in Stars and Stripes. The group decided to use its funds to purchase Wiis for the clinic and donate the equipment and games, said Laurelle Dicks, president of the association.
The problem was finding the Wiis. Miller was recently in the States to drop off her son at college and scoured the South, looking for the consoles. She and her son, Allan, hit pay dirt at a Wal-Mart in Lafayette, La.
Army Staff Sgt. Jason Lord, noncommissioned officer in charge of the occupational therapy clinic, thanked the women and presented the association with a certificate of appreciation from the clinic.
“We are deeply, deeply grateful for the presentation,” he said.