Client Name: Steven D.
Hometown: Wayne, NJ
Injury Date: 06/06/06
Injury: Traumatic Brain Injury (Anoxic TBI secondary to commotio cordis)
Start Date: 07/05/12
Steven’s story as told by his parents, Nancy and Joe.
On the evening of June 6, 2006, 12 year old Steven and his youth baseball team were on the field. Steven had stepped in to provide relief to his team’s first pitcher. Unfortunately, his two innings on the pitcher’s mound were too eventful. Steven threw a pitch and the boy up at bat came around fast making contact with the ball, sending it directly back at Steven’s chest. The impact of the ball caused him great pain as he gasped for breath. The game came to an immediate halt as it became apparent that this was more than the typical injury seen on the field. Steven had an anoxic brain injury secondary to commotio cordis. Steven’s parents, Nancy and Joe, believe they got through this difficult time with the help of friends, family, and faith.
They had heard about Push to Walk from a few different people and found it at what they say was the perfect time. “A few years ago Steven was not ready for this,” says Joe. Joe likes the aggressiveness of the workouts, dedication of the trainers, modifications of the equipment, and the stretching that is done with Steven. “You can’t compare what Steven gets here to Physical Therapy, which has limitations. Push to Walk workouts are beyond PT and more repetitive. Repetition helps to recreate new neural pathways to relearn and retrain the brain in those with TBI,” says Joe. “The more he does it, the more he should be able to remember and learn it,” says Nancy. Steven attends workouts twice a week for 1 ½ hour sessions. During his time at Push to Walk he stretches, stands, uses the elliptical and treadmill, and works on walking with the EZ Glider or the Gait Harness System. “Steven was an athlete and needs to be coached. Push to Walk gives him that,” says Joe. Since starting there are all sorts of subtleties his parents have noticed as improvements. When he began coming to Push to Walk he was not bearing full weight on his right leg and now he bears weight on both when standing. Steven’s walking has also improved and he no longer relies on whoever is assisting him to support his weight as much. His mother says “Due to his additional strength and independence I am now able to walk with him.”
In addition to attending workouts at Push to Walk Steven goes to the Special Needs Cerebral Palsy Center in Passaic County for school where he has speech and physical therapy twice a week and Augmentative class with a communication device. He also has physical therapy once a week at an outside location, and prompt specialized speech twice a week at home. Steven sees a chiropractor twice a week. One of the chiropractors he visits is for Cranial Sacral adjustments, which has helped him no longer bite down on his toothbrush when brushing his teeth.
Steven has Cortical Vision Impairment, but his vision has improved over time. He has tried light therapy, aquatic therapy, hippotherapy, and is currently going for hyperbaric chamber (oxygen therapy) sessions. Steven maintains a strict nutritional diet. “It’s been a very slow process, but he has never regressed,” says Joe.
When asked what Steven likes to do in his free time, his parents jokingly say “he loves coming to see his trainer, Tommy, at Push to Walk.” He enjoys going to school, listening to music and loves watching Spongebob when he has downtime.
Steven’s life has changed in that he is dependent on somebody for every aspect of living. Fortunately, his personality has remained the same, which his family is grateful for.
If other families need support, Nancy and Joe are more than happy to provide it. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with them.
Videos of Steven’s Progress: