Crutches be gone after just two months on Green Prescription
“Help yourself, because nobody else is going to,” said Camberley’s Michael Houia.
For many years, Micheal Houia had issues with many of his limbs. These included injuries with his elbows, a hip
replacement and an ankle replacement. Each of these made it more and more difficult for him to get out and about,
particularly after the last replacement which left him having to rely on crutches to get around.
“Many of these injuries stopped me from doing things. They limited my movement and therefore my carrying capacity which
was a big part of my job at the time. I could pick up something, but then I couldn’t walk with it. To this day my hip
still isn’t the best even after going to the physio.”
After a while, Houia had had enough and decided to do something else. “My goal was to get rid of my crutches,” said
Houia after being reliant on them for over three years. So his GP referred him to the Sport Hawke’s Bay Green
Prescription programme in March of 2017.
“The first session I tried was the aqua session in Flaxmere. It was great because of taking away weight bearing. I’d
never thought of going in the water to help get better movement of my body.”
Houia went back to the aqua sessions and joined in on some of the other sessions that Green Prescription offered,
including a range at the Camberley Community Centre. After just two months of making an effort to get in the pool and
making his way to the centre for classes, Houia was able to discard the crutches and hasn’t looked at them since.
“I do a bit of walking everyday now,” said Houia after just finishing a class at the Camberley Community Centre. “It’s
great for the mind and body and is much better than sitting around and watching TV.”
Not only has Houia found some positive impact in the Green Prescription sessions, but he has now taken charge of the
community centre’s new vegetable garden.
“We knew we had this garden at the community centre,” said Houia. “Jane Denby (Sport Hawke’s Bay’s Green Prescription
Active Living Advisor) called me and asked if I’d be interested in leading the way. I thought it’d be a waste if nothing
happened so I’ve got the group at the centre involved and now we have a lot of vegetables growing.”
Denby has worked alongside Houia for the last year now and noted that “Michael is an inspiring participant. Not only has
he overcome his barriers, but he now regularly attends activity and discussion sessions and his willingness to share his
journey to encourage others is amazing.”
“We’ve found that for participants like Michael, Green Prescription can give many of our clients practical advice on
finding an activity that suits them. It also provides a safe environment for them to give that activity a go and the
opportunity to mix and support others who are experiencing similar journey’s. Many new friendships are forged and new
community groups emerge as a result. The Camberley Community garden is a prime example.”
For Huia, this part of his being active and healthy was more about giving back to the community. “Because that’s what
it’s all about.”