In April 2010 I, Pekka Hyysalo was a professional free skier and last year graduate at Kuusamo Alpine
College. I was ranked 11th in the AFP ranking (Association of Free skiing Professionals, Big Air), when one jump changed my life. On 28.04.2010, while I was skiing the last trick in the end of a filming session at Ylläs. A blast of wind made me to overshoot the landing. I over rotated the trick, landed sideways, and all of a sudden, I was fighting for my life instead of AFP rankings. That wasn’t the end though. It was a turning point. I started the FightBack of my own.
I was unconscious and taken to the Intensive care Unit (ICU) in Oulu, where I spent several weeks in medically induced coma. I had severe head injuries, TBI (Traumatic Brain injury), DAI (Diffuse Axonal injury) and different kind of hemorrhages like SAV. That meant I lost my ability to move, speak, eat, take care of myself and the TBI injury meant also both short term and long term memory problems.
I spent the summer 2010 in hospitals. In the middle of August I got to a rehab center in Helsinki, The road to recovery has been rough, since I had no accident insurance at the time of the accident. Therefore I had to fight on my own and with the help of family in order to come back to normal life and to finance the rehab after the hospital period. I felt already next year after the accident that I want to help others facing the same destiny, especially the ones facing head injury and having no insurance to cover the rehab and helping in the living costs after losing the possibility to work or study.
In the spring 2012 in Kitzsteinhorn, during the Austrian Free ski Open (AFO), I and Florian Lehmann figured out FightBack as a way to help me and later on hopefully others too in the rehab and new way of life. That was the start of FightBack story – a story Pekka is now creating in many ways, both making a place for him to create an inspiring situations to recover.
In the spring 2015, almost five years since the injury, I heard about VASA Concept from another Finnish patient who made fantastic recovery when I got to know that there were many who got remarkable improvement even in chronic state and I contacted Dr. Rajul Vasa. FightBack got a whole new direction with Vasa Concept. I will work very hard to get Back, and help others to practice Vasa Concept which empowers us to be responsible ourselves for our TRUE recovery unlike compensation that the traditional rehab teaches us.
I have been doing Vasa Concept barely for 8 months now, and I know that I'm going to keep gaining from this for years! The evolvement in 8 months feels so unbelievable that, I really want to see what will happen in the future. I feel myself so super lucky to have been connected with Dr. Rajul, that I want to return the favor for everyone in need. My life has been fighting back from this injury, since 28.04.2010, when I crashed. I founded FightBack, the brand, in January 2013.
Now I will found a ‘FightBack with VASA Concept: Space Unlimited’, for all the patients who want to Fight Back, out of their limits. The Space Unlimited shall be funded by corporations, so that the patients only have to do the rehabilitation four hours daily and not pay any money as DR. Rajul Vasa insists it to be free for all without any kind of expectations.
Changes I and my friends noticed in me in this short time are as follows
My face is much more alive and smooth and not stiff and tense as one can see in the previous video. I have noticed huge improvements in general movements too, how I walk in shops, I am not as clumsy as before and I do not get hurt as often. Before, I was full of bruises and such but not any longer. I think the change is really big.
In the last video I sounded more like an old person in Finnish and now I have much more speed and diversity in my talk. It was Jenna the physiotherapist who mentioned that she thought that Pekka speaks better now than during last summer.
My friends have also noticed that it is much easier to speak with me now in Finnish as I do not seem to have to squeeze out the words like before and my replies are much faster. It is more fluent and diverse in tone compared to before. Emmi, my friend’s wife was really astonished when she saw the last video too. Kim has noticed that he does not have to wait for my answers like earlier this year.
I make more and more use of the foot and ankle when doing the duck walk and my walk has in general become smoother once again. Oh yes, I went to the food store and I am moving much better than before in daily situations and what before was done with more effort 5 months ago seems to be working much easier now. I do not topple and bounce into things any longer.
I notice a huge change in how I move in stairs and walking. I walk much safer and smoother than before. Before I started with Vasa Concept, I used to hold on to rails and the ataxia was more eminent than now when walking up and down the stairs.
One of my friends told me that ..............he was approached by his friend who does not know me personally but sees me walk to and from the gym now and then when she rides her bicycle to work. She asked how come Pekka walks so much better now compared to before. Coming from an outsider with no knowledge in the matter just noticing the changes that must be one of the best remarks that can be made is what I feel. She said Pekka really walks so much smoother now.
I thought that the sensations in my body were unstable, now after practicing the VASA Concept, they feel really normal. I had clawed toes, contracture, and facial asymmetry before, but now I can definitely see a huge difference. I don't pay that much attention to the things I cannot do, but being able to do so many things now, after practicing VASA Concept, feels unbelievable. I know I have gained a lot thanks to VASA Concept, I know that, I will keep on working and evolving! - At this very moment I'm sitting in a gym locker room. I was just in an empty group exercise room doing VASA Concept workout program. I'm pretty stoked about this! I want people to know how great this Vasa Concept is.
Clearly believing in this to this new form of rehabilitation where we only need very large empty space with some mats and Gym balls and small balls, inclined slope, string and toys to hang on the string. Wow, such petty things can do wonders what modern high tech machines could not do to help my rehab. Now, I understand what Dr. Vasa Says that our own brain and body are the best tool to help our self-organized brain to re-reorganize and put us on the road to true recovery.
10th October 2015
I wrote a thank you letter to Dr. Vasa for changing my life. I want to share it with all of you my dear
Dear Dr. Vasa,
I feel like the VASA Concept has truly changed the direction of my life. I was under the impression, that because my brain had injured this badly, there was nothing I could do. I almost submitted to this, and tried to compensate in every way. Mainly just by working on my muscles and trying to force myself to learn to run, which feels so ridiculous now, since I should've focused in re-reorganizing my brain. I did not even know there would be a way to re-reorganize them...
When Markku Pekonen contacted me, linking me to your website, I was amazed. It all made sense... Right away, I contacted you via email, really doubting you would ever reply to me. In a while though, you did!
From this on, we have remained in contact via email, Skype and Whatsapp, etc... And you even came to coach us in Turku last summer, from where you allowed me to come to Uppsala Sweden! I can't wait until I can get personal guidance from you next time. However, I'm not Fighting Back alone, anymore. The girl who was helping me in July, Jenna, is still a great help for me!
As I've been practicing VASA Concept for over half a year now, I have started to hear countless compliments of my tremendous improvements! They appear especially in speech, walking and even in my general essence! Of these, I am forever grateful for you. I know, I have had to work a lot myself, but I'm happy to do all the work, as long I can see these results!
Since it was your former patient, Markku, who told me about this VASA Concept, I want to let every TBI-, stroke-, hemorrhage-, etc. patient of the World know about this. I want to help, too.
Thank you for everything you've done already, yours truly,
BackFighter, Pekka Hyysalo