A rare disease now cured in Rise Health Group’s Exercise Scientist

March 15, 2017

Rise Health Group Presents - the second of our three part series on, Zoe Ruth, a lifelong client and now staff member.



Rise Health Group’s Exercise Scientist, Zoe Ruth, has had a lifetime of injuries and health complications beginning with breaking her left femur when she was eight years old. After Zoe had recovered from her leg injury, her teenage years were a never ending battle with chest infections. Doctors would dismiss these infections as various types of common colds such as the flu. It was only after Zoe was referred to a specialist that they diagnosed her with having Bronchiectasis’.


Bronchiectasis is a common lung disease which is caused by a chronic infection in the small airways. This disease can cause lung damage, scarring, dilating and infected mucus to build up in the pockets of the lungs. With treatment this disease can be managed, but it is rare for someone to be completely cured.


“[Doctors] found that I had a rare bacteria [in my lungs]” explained Zoe when asked about her diagnosis. The bacteria was identified as Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia. This bacteria was only able to be treated using one set of antibiotics which the body can become immune to quickly. The only option for Zoe was to use the antibiotics in moderation with other treatment methods.


Rise Health Group’s Physiotherapist, Kathryn Oldman, began working with Zoe in order to teach Zoe and her family the methods of Pummeling. “It is a way of creating vibrations through your chest to work out flem so it is easier to cough out” explained Zoe. Two hours was set aside each night for Zoe and her family in order for this Pummeling treatment to occur.


Zoe Ruth also acknowledged the work by the Royal Children’s Hospital, who helped with her treatment of Pummeling as well as helping the Ruth family treat her Bronchiectasis on a long term basis.


A symptom that Zoe suffered from was an extraneous cough. “I use to get the comments of stop smoking and smokers cough” Zoe said when reflecting on her time in high school, “I felt drowned”. Attention towards her deep coughs and appearance would be drawn to by her fellow peers. “I was quite underweight [at the time]” Zoe explained. Not only was Zoe constantly fighting Bronchiectasis but she was taking supplements in order to help her overall body weight and general health.


Through improving her overall health, and setting aside those two hours every night to work on the treatment of her lungs, Zoe Ruth was able to reduce her symptoms of the disease. “I went from having crappy, scared, full of crap lungs… to healthy ones like nothing had ever happened” explained Zoe. Moving forward Zoe Ruth has developed Asthma which she has been able to keep under control through her exercise.


“A lot of [people] do not understand the use of exercise and it’s therapeutic ways.”


Zoe Ruth continues to maintain a high level of general health through regular exercise and aims to help more people in similar situations as herself. If you believe that Zoe Ruth and The Rise Health Group team, could help with your treatment or health and wellnesss goals please visit our website www.risehealthgroup.com.au and arrange an assessment with our qualified team.  


The original article was published in the Rowville Lysterfield Community News

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