Inspiring Stories

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.
Fabian Ndungu Githinji and family

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.

After surviving a horrific car crash, Matthew Slattery defied expectations in his recovery from traumatic brain injury.
Image Matt and Teressa in occupational therapy

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.

For patients and families, genetic counselors help navigate the uncharted path through treatment of rare genetic disorders.
Megan Miceli

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

Megan wasn't Amie Miceli's first child. She knew there were certain milestones every newborn should reach and that every parent looks forward to. But Megan was floppy -- literally floppy, Amie says.

The Concussion Clinic helps young athletes figure out a game plan for recovery after a sports-related concussion.
Aidan Fielding

In 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.

Afterwards, an investigation revealed that shortly after the first concussion -- and not long before he was allowed to return to the field -- Dougherty had failed a test meant to gauge whether he was fit to play. 

Now Celebrating 25 Years, Kennedy Krieger's Therapeutic Foster Care Program Trains Foster Parents to Care for Children with Special Needs.
Carl Price

Ask 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.

When an uncanny twist of circumstances left Morgan Dunnigan paralyzed, doctors predicted her condition was permanent. With Kennedy Krieger’s help she proved them wrong.
Morgan Dunnigan

Laying in a hospital bed on a Sunday night, Morgan Dunnigan believed her parents and physician when they said she would wake up the next morning for a surgery that promised to make the pain in her neck disappear, make the tumor hurting her spine go away, make everything better.

They couldn’t have been more wrong.

Constraint-induced and Bimanual Therapy Program incorporates golf to help one patient on his path to rehabilitation.
Taylor Wilkerson works with golf pro Kelly Tomlinson to improve his swing

From the beginning, and without hesitation, Katherine Wilkerson always offered her unwavering support of anything her son Taylor wanted to do. The thing is, though, until the age of 9, there was never much of anything the boy was too interested in trying.

Kennedy Krieger’s new Aquatic Therapy Center gives a spinal cord injury patient mobility and hope.
Aquatic Therapy at Kennedy Krieger

It's the dead of winter, but college junior Darin Ruark is spending much of his winter break afloat in a sparkling, penthouse-level pool. The air is warm and the sun shines through floor-to-ceiling windows. But while it may sound like a relaxed get-away, Darin isn't enjoying a winter vacation with friends or family. Instead he's swimming at the Kennedy Krieger Institute as part of an innovative aquatic therapy program.

Young Woman Turns Spinal Cord Injury into an Inspirational Career

There was broken glass and debris everywhere, and I could hear sirens in the distance. Just moments before I was sleeping in the car as we drove home from a family vacation in Florida. I was jolted awake as the car flipped over, and I could feel myself being thrown around as if I were in a washing machine. I was strangely calm, lying half in and half out of the backseat - until the paramedic checked me for injuries and I couldn't feel anything. I began to panic. When I asked if I was paralyzed, he wouldn't answer.

Kennedy Krieger gives hope,not limits, to a family from Nebraska.
Never Say Never

It was spring of 2007, and the town of Hastings, Nebraska, was looking forward to summer. Memorial Day weekend had come and gone, and Kirk and Jami Ortegren had just watched their son Jack crawl for the first time.

On Thursday, May 31, they dropped him off at day care, telling the staff there that he was a little grouchy because he was teething. 

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