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Papakura Courier : August 24th 2011
www.aucklandnow.co.nz Wednesday, August 24, 2011 e're the new bank on the block. Westpac Takanini, open Monday to Saturday at 228 Great South Road. Westpac New Zealand Limited WCH0280_FFD2_PC Pressing for dear life By HINERANGI VAIMOSO Lifesaving treatment: Dr Amarjeet Singh, an accupressurist from west Auckland, works on Lisa-Marie Jeptha who he voluntarily visits in Papakura at least three times a week. Looking up, right: The Jeptha family of Papakura, more than three months after it was told 11-year- old Lisa-Marie, front centre, would only have a few weeks to live. Photos: HINERANGI VAIMOSO LITTLE Lisa-Marie Jeptha still alive and it looks like she's getting better. The 11-year-old Papakura girl who was given just weeks to live back in May is smiling and chatting and can breathe on her own. Her feet are no longer blue and she has rosy red cheeks. It's a total miracle'', mum Lizel says. Lisa-Marie's progress could all be thanks to one man and his determination to see her live a long and healthy life. Her story attracted nation- wide attention earlier this year when doctors told her she had only have a few weeks left after a five-year battle with muscular dys- trophy. She hit the headlines in May when she set about plan- ning her funeral -- from the music and the guest speakers right down to the dress she'd be buried in. A flood of best wishes, prayers and money from com- munity fundraising events came her way as soon as the story broke, Mrs Jeptha says. We just never had any idea people would be this touched by her story. It's really been amazing.'' Among the calls was a message from the son of Dr Amarjeet Singh, an accupres- surist based in Henderson who claimed he could help and heal Lisa-Marie. Harkiran Singh says his father saw her story in a national paper one day and a link to the same article was posted to his email soon after- ward. That's when he gave it some serious thought and wanted to help. He said to me I can save her'. But we had no time to waste. We had to start work immediately.'' The Jepthas accepted Dr Singh's offer without hesi- tation and he was on their doorstep ready to start work on Lisa-Marie later that night. Muscular dystrophy causes progressive deterioration of the muscles. It weakens breathing muscles, causing inadequate lung function and a reduction of oxygen in the blood. The New Zealand Natural Therapies Association says accupressure is one of the oldest and most widespread healing methods in the world. Practitioners can reduce ten- sion, increase circulation and offer relief for many com- plaints by using deep finger pressure at certain points. Dr Singh has practised in India and in New Zealand for the past nine years. He voluntarily spent a half- an-hour with Lisa-Marie every night for a month and after seeing her progress now makes the trek from west Auckland three days a week. It's going to take a bit longer because she can't do the physical exercise needed but we'll get there,'' he says. It's difficult to hear her daughter's cries as Dr Singh is pushing down on her pres- sure points but Mrs Jeptha says the result is worth it. So does Lisa-Marie. My feet don't feel as big. I feel really good. I don't feel like I have to breathe hard,'' she says. And while she still has to sleep with an oxygen mask on, it's a more restful sleep unless disturbed by little sis- ter Cheyenne who tucks up with her big sis at night. Lisa-Marie's doctor has been amazed at the results and has encouraged Mrs Jep- tha and husband Fabian to keep up any treatment they believe is helping their daughter. And with time, this will only get better. We have been truly blessed,'' she says. When Mrs Jeptha mentions the possibility that one day Lisa-Marie might walk, Dr Singh looks up but doesn't bat an eyelid. It's possible over time, he says.
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