He’s an inspiration to young and old alike.
Maintaining a positive attitude when you are a high school student who has had to endure multiple surgeries, as well as a brain injury, sounds like a difficult challenge. However, for Ronen, being positive and encouraging others is just part of his personality. While undergoing physical therapy at Kennedy Krieger’s Specialized Transition Program after several surgeries to repair injuries to his feet and ankles, Ronen inspired his fellow patients and therapists with his work ethic and enthusiastic attitude.
Dr. Jacqueline Stone: In recognition of Physical Therapy Month in October, I am joined today by Patricia Turlington, a senior physical therapist at Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Patricia Turlington: I’d like to tell you about a patient of mine named Ronen. I currently work in the Specialized Transition Program, an outpatient program that provides intensive therapy services. I met Ronen several months after he sustained a brain injury as well as fractures to his ankles. He was hospitalized for 3 months and had several surgeries to correct the injuries to his feet and ankles. When he was discharged to home, he began attending therapy five days a week at STP, but the things that stood out to me about him were his positive attitude and his concern for others he interacted with.
Ronen worked hard in PT to get stronger so that he could walk further. Due to his ankle injuries, he had difficulty walking a long distance. He always asked to do more repetitions of exercise, or to walk longer on the treadmill. He was committed to doing all he could to recover. He was about to start his senior year of high school and he had a goal to graduate, attend college and be able to walk around a large college campus. He always came in the gym with a smile, hidden by his mask but evident in his eyes. He greeted everyone enthusiastically and inquired how their day was going. He did a lot of treadmill walking in therapy and he liked to talk to me about what he was reading, TV shows he watched and sports.
Ronen was especially attentive to some younger kids coming in for therapy. He had a special relationship with one little 4-year-old girl. Despite their difference in ages, he had a soft spot for her. He always had an encouraging word for her while she was working on her own walking skills. In spite of his own challenges, he found it in his heart to look out for others.
I believe that Ronen will continue to make progress and this time next year, he will be walking all over his college campus with a smile to everyone he meets.