Ryan missed the start of school, but he is still working hard 5 days a week at Craig Hospital in Colorado. He has been participating in the NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) founded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The program has two parts: physical therapy using a treadmill, harness, walker and therapy mats focused on walking and mobility, and occupational therapy using electrical stimulation and adaptive tools to activate nerves in his back, arms and hands and improve his functional independence. Ryan was originally scheduled for 60 sessions of NRN, but he is making such great progress that he was extended to 80 sessions ending mid-September.
Many people saw Ryan’s video using a walker to walk out of Craig Hospital for the first time in early August. He has continued to use the walker during therapy and has a walker for practice at home. Ryan now is focused on improving his steps, concentrating on foot placement, improving his gait, keeping his core straight and gaining strength. After NRN, Ryan will transition immediately into more outpatient therapy at Craig toward his ultimate goal of walking and regaining full use of his hands. The first 1-2 years following a spinal cord injury are a critical window of time for recovery, and Ryan and his therapy team are doing all they can to make the most of it.
Ryan attends school at Craig using adaptive software and tools, and he is working hard to catch up on the classes he missed so he will be ready when he returns to College Park. Thank you to Ms. Haider, Mr. Phan and Ms. Aiello for helping Ryan with classes from afar this semester, and Mr. Nolan and Mr. Gayle last semester! Ryan’s sister, Haley, has started her freshman year at College Park, and parents, Tom and Kristin, will be going back and forth between California and Colorado. Being separated as a family is a difficult part of this journey, and we look forward to all being together again during the holidays.
Thank you to everyone who keeps us in their thoughts and all of you who continue to reach out to support us. We would not be where we are without you. Falcon parent, Angel Lara, connected us with the Contra Costa Association of Realtors Helping Hands Committee and they generously donated toward power-assisted wheels for Ryan’s manual wheelchair, which will make it much easier for him to get around school. We are so lucky to be part of this community, you are all such amazing people!