Name – JD
Date of Accident –  October 2008
Age at accident – 11 years old

In 2008, an 11 year old boy named JD suffered an anoxic brain injury from a near drowning incident in the family spa. The family saw “life as normal” change that Saturday afternoon and the dynamics of a young family with four children face the uncertainty of life ahead. As JD underwent extensive treatment for his injuries over a 6 month hospital stay, the community stepped up and supported the family both financially and emotionally through financial support and prayer. “Pray, Pray, Pray for JD” and “Hope4Minds” became the slogans of these support efforts.

As time has passed and as JD’s parents have better adjusted to the “new normal” in their home, they have continued to remain focused on HOPE and Recovery. At a very early point after the accident, his parents were faced with a decision when told by a physician that they might want to consider withdrawing care for their son. Disturbed by the comment, JD’s parents committed to do everything possible to support JD’s recovery, never contemplating any other option. With the daunting task of caring for a recovering child with a serious brain injury, the family has stayed united and strong by focusing on their faith and HOPE. “HOPE keeps us standing up tall each day, looking at the small improvements that come each day, week, month as affirmation of our commitment to JD’s full recovery; things are already tough in most folk’s lives and without HOPE in what can be achieved and what lies ahead, life becomes a whole lot tougher” says JD’s father, John. John goes on to state “without a doubt, we have seen significant recovery and improvement in JD’s condition, and it will continue. JD deserves every opportunity to regain his abilities and we stand committed to the goal of complete recovery”.

UPDATE AS OF 10/2014

JD has participated in Neurodevelopmental Therapy on a consistent basis for 7 years.  He has participated in Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Therapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Water Therapy, Music Therapy, and Hippotherapy.  He also had a procedure known as The PERCS Procedure performed on his ankles and elbow to release and lengthen the tendons, so he could begin bearing weight on his feet and straightening his arm.  He used the Gait Trainer and Standing Wheelchair to begin bearing weight and making the walking motion once again.  He then began to make significant cognitive changes, as well as a vast improvement in his vision due to being in an upright position for long periods of time.

After 6 years of multiple therapies, the use of specialized equipment, and a rigorous standing program, JD is almost fully weight bearing, can walk with little assistance, and has started to talk, sing, and even spell. Click here to watch JD in action!

How has Hope4Minds helped?

  • Neuro Developmental Therapy visits
  • Tinting of the van windows because JD can’t adjust his body temperature
  • Remodeling of his bedroom to allow the space to be used more effectively for standing exercises and therapy
  • Surgical consultation and casting at UTMB by Roz Mazal
  • Standing Wheelchair

Click here to see JD swimming.