With one knee on a Bosu Ball and both hands firmly grasped around a dowel rod, Kyle concentrates on a ball being tossed his way that he will bunt back with the rod. His Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist are working together to address high level balance activities while engaging in eye-hand coordination tasks. To make it even more challenging, Kyle is asked to name geographical locations corresponding to a letter randomly picked by his therapist as he bunts the ball. With tears in their eyes, Kyle’s grandparents watch his progress intently. Today Kyle routinely participates in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy at Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City (RIKC). Less than a year ago life looked very different for Kyle and his family.
In May, 2015, Kyle was looking forward to a class field trip. This was the first field trip with his mother, who is a teacher and could rarely attend. While on the outing Kyle began to fall ill with worsening symptoms. At that point his mother determined it was best to go home for the day. Hours later with no relief, the family decided to take Kyle to the emergency room at Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH) where he was admitted. After completing several tests, and still no decrease in his symptoms, the professionals at CMH decided to transfer Kyle to the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) to see specialists Dr. Abraham and Dr. Moriarty. At KUMC several blood clots, one being the size of a small egg, were found at the base of his vertebral artery. After two surgeries the clot was removed. Unfortunately, due to the size and number of clots Kyle suffered three strokes. Kyle lost his ability to walk, talk, and swallow. With further investigation by the specialists at KUMC it was discovered that Kyle has a very rare genetic blood disorder, Lipoprotein Deficiency Disorder, which now requires him to return to KUMC every 10 days for treatment.
Kyle returned to CMH following his surgeries and was later referred to RIKC to participate in the outpatient Adolescent Medical Rehabilitation Program to address deficits he acquired as a result of the strokes. Kyle and his therapy team at RIKC created a plan to focus on balance, upper extremity strengthening, coordination, cognition, speech, and vision. “There aren’t enough words to describe all of the therapists and staff here at RIKC. They have all been so compassionate, positive, and passionate about helping Kyle”, said Kyle’s grandmother. Since Kyle started therapy at RIKC, he has regained his ability to walk, talk, and feed himself, along with many more accomplishments leading him towards regaining his independence. With the help of RIKC’s full time classroom teacher, Kyle has also returned to school one day a week while continuing therapy.