A football coach from Ipswich who has cerebral palsy says he has had his life transformed by wearing a specially designed glove.

Bailey Fleming was born with unilateral cerebral palsy, which made the use of one arm very difficult. His manipulative skills were very poor, he had trouble picking things off the floor and when he walked or ran his arm automatically assumed a rigid position.

The glove was made by DM Orthotics (DMO), a company that specialises in the manufacture and design of dynamic movement orthoses to improve the lives of adults and children facing a range of neuro-muscular challenges.

 “I used to hold my arm up to my shoulder when running which slowed me down, but now I move my arm just like the other one and run much faster as a result,” said Bailey. “I can tie my shoe-laces up more quickly as well and don’t even need to think about it. I can also drive a manual car with my glove on. It took a couple of months to get used to due to the initial discomfort, but it was well worth sticking with as it has totally changed the mobility of my hand and arm.”

Bailey was headhunted by the newly launched Ipswich Town Community Trust to be part of the team delivering football coaching to schools across the region. All being well, he is planning to start disability coaching sessions in the New Year. 

Bailey loves to play as well as coach and has his sights firmly set on getting back into contention for a place on the England Cerebral Palsy (CP) football squad. Attaining a peak level of fitness is vital and wearing the DMO glove will play an important role in helping him achieve that goal.

Holly Nicholson, prescribing clinical specialist and physiotherapist at DM Orthotics, said: “Bailey has fluctuating muscle tone in his right arm, and this causes his wrist to adopt a flexed position, with hyperextension of his fingers. His right arm is also weaker than his left. Having used DMO gloves since his teens, Bailey’s strength, range of movement and arm function have all increased.

“The DMO glove benefits patients with cerebral palsy because it assists in the management of tremors and its unique design rotates the arm into a functional, comfortable position whilst repositioning the thumb and allowing maintenance of a correct alignment of the wrist.”

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