CSI PPEC Success Story—Suzie Wright

Suzie Wright is a 3 ½ year-old miracle child whose rate of advancement has been phenomenal. She was a typically developing child until a year ago (5/19/15) when she suffered a traumatic brain injury from a commercial garage door falling on her. CPR was administered and she was rushed to the hospital.

Suzie had a g-tube placed for nutritional needs and a tracheotomy for respiratory support. She also underwent a craniofacial repair in June of 2015. Suzie remained in a vegetative state with little response to outside stimulation for approximately two months.

It was pretty much a miracle that she woke from that vegetative state–doctors were not confident that she would regain consciousness. But one day, Suzie opened her eyes and began interacting with family and medical staff. She waved “hi” on command and was attempting to speak (which she was initially unable to do because of the tracheotomy). As she continued to progress and show signs that she was medically stable, she was released from the hospital in July 2015. At that time, she began attending CSI Special Care (Arlington location) and was evaluated by the Great Strides therapeutic team, in the areas of Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapy.

Upon starting therapy, she was unable to walk and had very little ways of communicating. She was also receiving all her nutrition via her g-tube and was not able to eat by mouth. Her attention span had decreased and she was impulsive with negative behaviors due to the frontal lobe injury.

Great Strides Therapy Successes:

Suzie has now been receiving physical, speech and occupational therapies for about nine months and has come such a long way— she is:

  • walking independently,
  • breathing independently, tracheostomy removed)
  • eating by mouth (passed a swallow study she still has
    the g-tube as a precautionary measure),
  • speaking in sentences and able to carry-on
    conversations with others,
  • potty training (she was previously potty trained before
    her accident),
  • greatly improved attention span so more cooperative in
  • demonstrating less negative behaviors (kicking, hitting)

The Great Strides staff working with Suzie include: Katie Hartman, MOT, OTR/L; Ashley Ziccarelli, M.Ed, SLP-CCC and Adrienne Vickers, DPT.

Suzie’s mom, Miranda, is so grateful to the Great Strides therapy team saying, “All the varied therapies provided to Suzie at CSI PPEC has made her recovery possible.”

She continues: “We are both looking forward to her going to Great Strides Pre-K school in the Fall. I’ve watched Suzie go from a little girl who was in a coma and upon awakening couldn’t walk or talk because of the accident, to relearning these basic skills at an accelerated rate due to exceptional care. This has been hard on everyone with Suzie having four siblings ranging from age nine to two and her being the one next to the baby. My husband and I were told that we should get therapy because of all the heartache with the accident but our therapy has been seeing her excel and proving the original doctors negative prognosis wrong. We are also so excited as Suzie was just granted her wish for the family to go to Disney World which was given by the Make a Wish Foundation.”

Current Therapy Focus:

She is currently working on ascending/descending stairs, jumping, general strengthening, labeling colors, drawing shapes, completing puzzles, learning pronouns, identifying verbs from pictures, and other skills. Suzie is definitely a miracle child and prayers were answered for her family.

The Future is All Smiles:

Based on the progress she has made thus far in such a small amount of time, prognosis is good and her future looks bright. As always, there can be plateaus with progress but she has not had setbacks in the last year so we only see Suzie making gains and continuing to progress to maximize independence.

Her therapeutic team is proud of Suzie’s advancement and look forward to providing her the skills towards continued success.

A Little Bigger—A Lot Better!

Great Strides will be acquiring some additional space located next door to the main office which means more space for more therapeutic learning and play areas for your child.