In a world where technology plays a big role in our lives, Keith Wilson, a 72-year-old resident of Darlington, has made a groundbreaking discovery in fighting Parkinson’s disease. Wilson’s experience with the debilitating condition has changed through the use of virtual reality (VR), inspiring others.
Wilson’s journey began in March 2020 when he received a life-changing diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Instead of giving in to despair, Wilson saw it as a chance to try new experiences and alternative therapies. While visiting Florida, he saw his godsons playing VR games, which made him curious about how virtual reality could help manage his condition.
Virtual reality allows individuals to escape into a chosen world. For Wilson, it has become a way to find freedom. With a VR headset, he can go on virtual adventures, like playing target-shooting games that improve his coordination and thinking skills.
With the support of his wife, Jill, Wilson has incorporated virtual reality into their daily lives. But he’s not just using it for himself. Wilson believes VR headsets could benefit others with Parkinson’s disease and has suggested using them in exercise classes offered by the Darlington Parkinson’s Disease Support Group.
Dr. Khin Nini, a consultant specializing in Parkinson’s disease, supports Wilson’s active lifestyle and use of virtual reality. Physical activities like running, cycling, climbing, and singing have been shown to stimulate the production of dopamine and adrenaline, which help manage the effects of the disease.
Virtual reality has had a remarkable impact on Wilson’s life. His wife, Jill, has noticed improvements in his animation, speech, focus, and overall enthusiasm since he started using VR. Wilson thinks that the excitement and stimulation provided by virtual reality affect the chemicals in his brain, helping control his Parkinson’s symptoms.
Fully embracing his new passion, Wilson actively takes part in the Darlington parkrun and contributes to the Darlington SING Community Choir. These activities not only provide exercise but also create a sense of community and support for those facing similar challenges.
Recognizing the potential of virtual reality as a powerful therapy tool, Wilson started a GoFundMe page to raise money for VR headsets. His goal is to make this technology accessible to others in need, especially after a charity couldn’t cover the costs. Wilson’s dedication to helping others shows his selflessness and commitment to empowering the Parkinson’s community.
His impact goes beyond the local community, as Wilson has been invited to be the opening speaker at a virtual international conference organized by the Health Coaches Academy. During this event, he will share his experiences and insights about using virtual reality to fight Parkinson’s disease, inspiring people worldwide and showing the potential of technology to improve quality of life.
As Wilson continues to explore different VR programs to find the most beneficial ones, his story is a testament to resilience and innovation. Through virtual reality, he has managed to push Parkinson’s disease to the back of his mind and embrace life to the fullest.
Keith Wilson’s journey reminds us that even when faced with adversity, our determination and willingness to try unconventional solutions can help us overcome challenges. His story is an inspiration to all, emphasizing that with the power of technology and the unwavering human spirit, hope prevails in tough times.