Pediatric Unit Celebrates 15th Anniversary at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

– It’s such a huge change for families. Literally, your person
was normal one minute and then within a split second,
your whole life has shifted. – We work with children who’ve
had some pretty devastating events happen in their lives. But the goal really is
to be able to get around and to be able to participate
in the things that they want to be able to do. Or the things they need to
do, like school, like play. They’re still gonna go on with their life but the life you had
pictured for your child is often gonna be different now. It’s a transition from life as you knew it to life as it will be. Our pediatric unit is just
a really special place. If you have to be in the hospital, it’s a pretty positive place
to do your rehabilitation. – Charles was a pedestrian hit by a car. He was on life support for two
weeks and then half paralyzed and couldn’t walk or talk for, it was about two and a half months. Yeah you just felt so hopeless. – The accident was really bad. By the time we got to the hospital, he was already on life support. The case manager came to me and was like we need to break it to you. It seems he severed a nerve on
the back so it’s really bad. He might not be able to, he’s not going to be as you knew him. – One, two o’clock in the
morning, Children’s Hospital called me. So we have Jamiya Brown here, they’ve been in a very bad accident. She’s paralyzed from here on down. – Ariel was in eighth grade
and she was a champion swimmer. She was swimming warming
up, all of a sudden, forgot how to swim, started
sinking, she had a stroke. They told us we’d be lucky
if she ever walked again. She wouldn’t have use of her arms. She was paralyzed
entirely on her left side. – I look at a lot of other
kids that are walking. I just ask God , I just
ask God why my grandchild? And after eight days, we transferred to National Rehab Hospital. And she went in on a stretcher. And we didn’t have a lot of hope, but the story goes from there. – One of the terrific benefits
of a bad situation was the Children’s Room at NRH. That made rehabilitation pretty unique. The caregivers were used
to dealing with teenagers and preteens. And that’s a world of difference. – The National Center for
Children’s Rehabilitation is awe inspiring, because of the people. The level of commitment and
dedication to those patients just beyond the typical job duties, is I think what makes us special. – We get some cases which have happened and will kind of break your heart, what my team does here
is the love for the job. You have to love what you do
to be able to do it very well. – For some children, we work
on walking and climbing stairs and practicing ball playing
and skills and games that they would be using in their
everyday life and make it fun. – We have a lot of assistive
technology to look at how to make the environment
accessible for the child, for communication purposes, for navigating their environment. – The goal in NCCR is to be
the leader in post acute care for our patients so that we can get them to their best self by the
time they leave this hospital. – We had this gadget. It braced everything
in the back of her legs and get her to stand up. She loved that and she played
a lot of games on that. – When he first started
walking with the walker. I was like okay, he’s gonna get this. After the walker, he would
slowly move to crutches and then we would try a little cane. Then it was all of a sudden,
he was very independent and it was yeah, through
the combination of therapies that really made the difference. – We walked out of this place
with what the way the mom said because with the wheelchair
and everything, she said no, pack the wheelchair, put it in the trunk, he’s going to walk with his leg. And he walks. – And the reason she’s not
sitting here with us is she is a very successful journalist in DC. She just got engaged two weeks ago and will be married next summer. She’s a marathon runner. You would look at her, you wouldn’t know this happened to her, which
in our wildest dreams, I don’t think either of us could
have imagined 13 years ago. – But our story is just one of many. Every single day new families,
new patients, new stories are written. And we wanna give everyone
the opportunity to have their miracle and so our
small goal in NRH is to continuing to support the effort, to make sure is they’re
as vibrantly as possible. That it’s the best facility as possible, because this is not about
one family, one child, one incident. Our philanthropy gives us more tools to give more patients more recovery. – Now thank you for staying driven. And I’m using the word driven because, no, it’s different than motivation. It kept me going in the
entire time, which is why I’m thankful, grateful, to the
entire staff that was here. – I’ve been taking classes
for environmental management and I plan to do that in the future. – Yes sir, Children’s
Hospital saved his life, but NRH gave him his life back. – Thank you very much for everything. – It’s been nothing but thank you for helping this family. – You hope you never
need it, but if you did, you definitely wanna place like this.

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