On July 1st, 2013, three year-old Jonathan Pirotte was strapped into the back seat of the family’s van with his Mom, Grandma and Aunt. His Mom was behind the wheel when suddenly their van collided with a semitrailer truck. Jonathan and the rest of his family were rushed to the hospital. Luckily no fatalities were sustained from the accident. At Children’s Mercy Hospital the doctors and medical staff were able determine the severity of Jonathan’s injuries. Jonathan suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, left open depressed skull fracture, multiple facial fractures, spasticity and post-trauma seizures. Jonathan’s doctors decided it was best to perform a frontal craniotomy and lobectomy, the surgical removal of a portion of the skull and lobe of the brain. After more than a year in and out of the hospital, Jonathan was referred to Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City (RIKC) for outpatient day therapy services.
Jonathan visits RIKC three times a week for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, social work, case management, nursing and educational support. Therapy goals were established upon arriving at RIKC in conjunction with Jonathan’s therapists and family members. “When Jonathan was in the hospital we thought he would go on existing without much if any activity”, said Jonathan’s Grandma Brandy. Before the accident Jonathan could eat on his own, get dressed by himself, bathe and brush his teeth without much assistance, but all of that changed. Jonathan has had many unimaginable accomplishments in the past few months while at RIKC. He has come from having difficulty holding his head up, to crawling and even walking with the help of a walker! Jonathan continually makes improvements with feeding and swallowing so much that he can now eat several meals in a day with fewer tube feedings. He has also begun to dress and undress himself with minimal assistance.
Brandy, Jonathan’s Grandma, explained her side of the experience at RIKC also. “Between the therapists and other parents, it is almost like therapy for us too. If I ever have questions or suggestions I know I can talk to his therapists and they will actually listen. You can’t get that everywhere, you know?”
Jonathan continues to make great strides towards his therapy goals. We celebrate all of his accomplishments since starting therapy and look forward to his future progress!