Tyler sat in the passenger seat of his father’s truck as they drove to baseball practice. Suddenly, Tyler’s father fainted behind the steering wheel as his truck sped out of control and into oncoming traffic. Tyler reached across his father, grabbed the wheel, and steered the truck off the road into a ditch to avoid the oncoming traffic. As the truck crashed through trees, a thick branch broke through the dashboard, impaled Tyler, and pinned him in the vehicle. The branch missed his spinal cord but caused severe trauma to his abdominal and groin region.
Tyler spent the next two and a half months as an inpatient at Children’s Mercy Hospital and then was referred to Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City (RIKC) for outpatient physical and occupational therapy. Tyler and his rehab team created an individualized therapy plan to get him back to walking and on his way to reaching his goals.
When Tyler first arrived at RIKC he was using a wheelchair for mobility and could only sit up for short periods of time. With the help of his therapists he began walking with a walker, 150 feet at a time, and is now able to walk two miles unassisted! He has increased his core strength, lower extremity strength, balance, and endurance. Michele Ahern, PT has pushed Tyler to reach his goals with pushups, lunges, planks, and medicine ball activities. Bethany Clements, OT has also been a significant part of Tyler’s rehabilitation by working on his upper body strength, coordination, and self care skills.
With the help of the RIKC onsite classroom teacher, Svetlana Hruda, Tyler stayed on track with his curriculum and successfully returned to school. He looks forward to returning to the baseball field next spring.