Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

How #moveforlex could spark a health revolution

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

How #moveforlex could spark a health revolution


'This could help so many people': how #moveforlex could spark a health revolution

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A spur-of-the-moment social media campaign that has lifted the spirits of a young triathlete after a near-fatal cycling accident could spark a healthcare revolution and help countless others.

Noosa’s Alexa Leary, who has just turned 20, is 40 days into her recovery after a July 17 crash from her bike at Pomona.

The accident caused a traumatic brain injury and left her with significant memory loss and a lack of mobility on her right side.

Family members and friends launched the #moveforlex campaign on Instagram to help her regain memories and movement.

The campaign, which already has attracted an incredible 67,000 followers, also inspires others to “get out, get moving and do it for those who can’t’’.

Alexa can use her left hand to scroll through the messages and videos matched to music in her hospital bed at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Her father Russell told Sunshine Coast News that the positive effect on her had been astounding – and had not gone unnoticed by hospital staff, including doctors and specialists.

“They are quite amazed by it (the impact) and want to know what we have learned and how it might be used to help others,’’ he said.

“We are meeting with them to discuss what’s happened, because we now think there could be wider benefits. This could be a very valuable tool.’’

Russell said if we could “move for Lex”, we could “move for Johnny at Longreach’’ or pretty much anyone.

He said doctors and nurses did a great job, but patients in hospital beds needed to believe, and there was no better motivation than family, friends and supporters showing them the way.

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“There are some people who can’t have family around them due to financial reasons and other situations where it is impractical due to distance,” Russell said.

“What might help are people who work with patients to help connect them socially, make them feel worthy and give them positivity. This could be huge.’’

Russell said there was a long way to go with Alexa, but the family was counting their blessings.

“From what we had five weeks ago, it’s a miracle and we are living with this miracle,’’ he said.

“We could not be more grateful for the support we have received.’’

Alexa, a rising star of triathlon and an Australian representative before her accident, is most enjoying posts with music.

Her favourite songs have been The Climb, by Miley Cyrus, and Verge by Owl City, featuring Aloe Blacc.

She has received messages of hope from a range of celebrities, most recently Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes.

She also had a bedside visit from NRL star Andrew Fifita, who drew inspiration from her in his own health battle.

The Cronulla prop, who had successful laryngeal surgery, paid tribute to the champion triathlete.

He said his time with ‘Lex’ had given him the extra drive to return to the game he loved.

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