It’s not every day we can say one of our colleagues has a Paralympian for a daughter but for one Speech and Language Therapist, that is exactly the case.
Amanda Kearney has worked at the trust for 17 years and her daughter, triple world champion 24-year-old Tully Kearney, is taking part in the Paralympics this year.
Aldridge local Tully has had Cerebral Palsy from birth (which affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture) and developed the progressive movement disorder Generalised Dystonia in her teens (which affects multiple muscle groups throughout the body).
She will be taking part in the 200m freestyle this Wednesday and the 100m freestyle this Thursday – cheered on by Walsall Healthcare!
Training has been different for the Manchester Metropolitan University student due to the COVID-19 pandemic as mum Amanda explained:
“Tully was shielding as she was classed as extremely clinically vulnerable so in the first lockdown we had to install a 13 foot pool in the garden which she trained with a bungee cord attached to her. We then had to get a hot tub because there was no physio which is really important for her neurological condition. We also converted the garage into a gym and bought equipment from eBay which proved to be difficult as everyone was buying equipment during lockdown!”
Mum-of-two Amanda, whose son Luke also works at the trust as well as Tully’s auntie Helen Lowe added:
“For Tully her main aim was to always get to the Paralympics. She is a triple world champion but the most important thing for her was that she is able to call herself a Paralympian.”
Tully’s family did book to go and see her but due to covid restrictions they were unable to go.
Amanda explained: “We are all sad we couldn’t be there but you have to look at the positive side, Tully gets to be there and we are all so proud of her. She has worked so hard to be where she is and what she has achieved. We are so happy to support her in what she loves doing. And even though we can’t be there in person, we will be live on Channel 4 on Thursday to cheer her on!”
Everyone at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust wishes Tully the best of luck and we will be rooting for her every step of the way.