January 31, 2012

Rewired: Helping Children with Traumatic Brain Injury

From Hope, the magazine of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt:

by Leslie Hill

Nine-year-old Stevie Wintz stares down the pitches that sail over home plate and is rewarded with a walk to first base. Once safely on the bag, with the sound of “Party Rock Anthem” blaring from another field, he breaks into his signature dance moves – like his whole body is made of Jell-O and he just has to let it wriggle. But as soon as the next batter is at the plate, he is instantly serious, watching the action and ready to run for second.

On the baseball field, Stevie’s personality shines through – a sports lover, a skilled baseball player and a total showboat who wants every eye on him.

But at his next at-bat, another side of Stevie comes out.

His coach tries to give him some instructions from first base, but the words don’t compute for Stevie. A frightening accident three years ago left him with a traumatic brain injury.

“Stevie has no idea what he’s saying,” his mother Gina Wintz explained, sitting on the bleachers. “It’s too fast and too far away.”

Stevie struck out but skipped back to the dugout unfazed.

With a traumatic brain injury, Stevie has learned to live in a confusing world where instructions don’t always make sense.

 

Read the rest of the story at

http://www.childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/hope/?p=652.