Patient Stories

In My Own Words: John Manison

November 2, 2012
“You can do whatever you want as long as you put your mind to it.”

John Manison is an 18-year-old freshman at Ashland University in Ohio. He is dedicated to his rehabilitation at Kennedy Krieger’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury and focused on achieving therapy goals en route to living his life without a wheelchair.

Bringing it all Home for Patients with Tuberous Sclerosis

by Kristina
Rolfes
November 2, 2012
New interdisciplinary clinic brings world-class research, care, and support for families of patients with complex neurodevelopmental disorder.

When Chris and Crystal Ditch delivered their baby boy, Mason, they burst into tears of joy. It had taken them four years to get pregnant, and they finally held the baby they had awaited for so long. But two hours before Crystal and Mason were scheduled to be discharged, doctors told them that Mason had tumors in his tiny heart.

Bringing Back Matthew

by Kristina
Rolfes
November 2, 2012
After surviving a horrific car crash, Matthew Slattery defied expectations in his recovery from traumatic brain injury.

In an instant, the Slattery family was shattered.

Susan Slattery and her two sons, Matthew and Peter, were on their way home from visiting family in Ohio on a sunny August day in 2010 when tragedy struck. A truck driver fell asleep at the wheel, barreling into Susan Slattery’s car and pushing it under a tractor trailer, killing her and critically injuring 12-year-old Matthew and 16-year-old Peter. Peter fractured his pelvis and eye socket, while Matthew suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, losing 80 percent of his blood.

More Than Just Fun and Games

by Lauren
Glenn Manfuso
November 2, 2012
The unlikely role of video games in neurorehabilitation.

Tell a kid to do three repetitions of 15 pushups or 25 leg lifts or any of the other myriad exercises that physical therapists assign during a regular session, and the automatic response might be a roll of the eyes and a groan before relenting—only to tucker out and lose focus or motivation before it’s over.

Getting Her Voice... Again

by Suzanne
Prestwich, MD
November 2, 2012

Many of the children admitted to the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Kennedy Krieger have experienced a trauma or illness that resulted in needing a procedure called a tracheostomy. The procedure involves placing a tube in a patient’s neck to help with breathing, but the downside is that it robs the patient of the ability to speak.

A New Life, Half a World Away

by Kristina
Rolfes
November 2, 2012
Ostracized by her own people because of her son's developmental disabilities, a mother's journey to save her son leads her from Africa to Kennedy Krieger and its affiliate PACT.

In rural Africa, where 3-year-old Fabian Ndungu Githinji was born, his mother Maureen could feel the eyes of her neighbors on her when she held Fabian, and hear their whispers behind her back. It was obvious that Fabian was different, with his abnormally large head and delayed development. In her culture, many still believed that children with developmental disabilities were a bad omen or a curse.

The Road to Understanding

Lauren
Manfuso
June 19, 2012
For patients and families, genetic counselors help navigate the uncharted path through treatment of rare genetic disorders.

Megan MiceliFrom the beginning, Megan Miceli’s parents knew something wasn't right.

Playing It Smart

Lauren
Manfuso
June 19, 2012
The Neurorehabilitation Concussion Clinic helps young athletes figure out a game plan for recovery after a sports-related concussion.

Aidan FieldingIn October 2008, Ryne Dougherty, a 16-year-old New Jersey teenager and junior linebacker for his high school football team, was in the middle of a game when he suffered a blow to his head -- just three and a half weeks after another on-field tackle left him with a concussion. This time, he was removed from the game and sent to the hospital, where they found bleeding in his brain. He died two days later.

A Place to Call Home

Kristina
Rolfes
June 19, 2012
Now Celebrating 25 Years, Kennedy Krieger's Therapeutic Foster Care Program Trains Foster Parents to Care for Children with Special Needs.

Carl PriceAsk Carl Price about his childhood, and you can't help but feel moved by the struggles he faced as a young boy 25 years ago. With a father in jail and a mother struggling with addiction, Carl wasn't sure when his next meal would come, let alone his next medical checkup. So when Carl developed a tumor on the left side of his neck, it was left untreated for over a year.

Alexandra's Story

Lauren
Manfuso
June 19, 2012
For Alexandra Carter, the Brightside Down Syndrome Mentoring Program is an opportunity to make friends and have fun.

Alexandra CarterAlexandra Carter doesn't lack for social skills. In fact, unlike many teenagers with Down syndrome who may struggle to find their places among social groups and peers, Alexandra is outgoing and vivacious.

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