Leisure centre gives Kim and Kate a new lease of life

Kim Kami (29) at the Meridian Leisure Centre gym in Louth.
Kim Kami (29) at the Meridian Leisure Centre gym in Louth.

A mum-of-two from Louth can pick her young daughter up for the first time and now leads a pain-free life, after exercise proved to be the solution for a debilitating health condition.

Kim Kami, 29, suffers from Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder which causes hypermobile joints that move beyond their normal range, leading to dislocation.

For Kim, it was her knee joints that were affected – a problem that became so frequent that she would often go through the immense pain of correcting the dislocation herself, rather than seeking medical attention.

Kim said: “It got to the stage where I struggled to walk, and I certainly couldn’t pick up my youngest daughter.

“I would be in terrible pain and an operation was one of the options to try and help.”

However, a referral from her physiotherapist to the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth saw a new life for Kim.

Experienced staff at the centre, which is run by the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, worked with Kim to establish a proper exercise programme, which has seen a massive improvement in her condition.

Her recovery has been so good that she is now planning sponsored exercise events to raise money for the Miscarriage Association UK, and she is also hoping to take part in a Three Peaks Challenge at some point in the future.

Kim continued: “I have much more energy and am putting on muscle, which is improving my movement and my confidence.

“Before doing this, I couldn’t do what I needed to for the kids, and I would be so tired.

“Due to the problems with my knee, I couldn’t pick up my daughter, but I can now.”

Meanwhile fellow Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome sufferer Kate Snookes, 49, had been forced to use a wheelchair due to the condition.

The self-employed silversmith and goldsmith, from Alford, saw her mobility so restricted that she had great difficulty walking, until she was also referred to Meridian Leisure Centre for a proper exercise programme.

Kate said: “You don’t just get better, you have to work at it. Doing something like this really helps keep my condition at bay and is very important.

“This keeps me mobile and once you find yourself in a wheelchair, you never take it for granted again.

“I am not saying it is always easy, but it is worth it – and you don’t have to wear Lycra!”