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Coma/Head Injuries: “Camron”

Paul and Ann Stephens

camronAs I write this account, it is the day after Thanksgiving, 1996. How far we’ve come. How thankful we are that we found NACD.

On August 23, 1993, our son, Camron, was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. He sustained serious head injuries and was comatose for four months. After 10 weeks at our local hospital, McKay-Dee Hospital Center, Camron was transferred to Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. This transfer happened only at our insistence. The people at McKay felt we should just send him to a nursing home. Though we never asked, we knew they thought he would never regain consciousness. They were wrong. In our hearts, we knew he would make it and we never asked for a prognosis. But while he was still in intensive care, I knew, too, that it would be up to us, Mom and Dad, to finish the rehabilitation. I remember thinking, “But I don’t know how!”

To this day, three years post injury, Camron continues to progress. His physiatrist is amazed and proud and gives much credit to NACD and the home program they design.

During the summer of 1995, we heard about NACD. Camron’s first evaluation was in August, 1995. In just ten weeks we noticed a big improvement both physically and cognitively. His whole aura changed for the better. I remember how difficult it was for Camron to get on the floor; how it was nearly impossible for him to propel himself forward on his stomach. It took both his dad and myself to work his arms and legs to help him bear weight into them so he could move forward. The difference by ten weeks was astonishing.

I remember hearing or reading about other children who were assigned to walk for 30 minutes per day. It seemed like it would be forever before we could expect that assignment for Camron. But less than a year later, Camron’s program included walking 30 minutes per day.

Camron’s goal was to walk across the stage at high school graduation. Less than ten months after his initial NACD evaluation, with the use of a cane and a fellow graduate nearby, he achieved his goal to a standing ovation.

Camron’s program includes sensory stimulation, balance retraining, and cognitive expansion, along developmental lines. Today his balance is improving and he walks more steadily. He can recall ten random digits and is regaining function and strength in his left arm. To other parents, we say we have never worked so hard on anything nor have we ever been so richly rewarded for our efforts. I shudder to think what our story would be without NACD.

As a child playing doctor, I used to wave my wiggling fingers over the patient saying, “Fix, fix, fix.” Although the NACD program doesn’t work that way, they’ve given us an organized, structured approach that is still nothing short of miraculous.

We are happy to talk with any parent considering NACD for their child. The home office has our phone number.

Reprinted by permission of The NACD Foundation, Volume 10 No. 12, 1996 ©NACD

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