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news News Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Sunday, November 12, 2017 1:07 PM - Sunday, November 12, 2017 1:07 PM

Nic's family-centered cerebral palsy care

Nic's family-centered cerebral palsy care

Nic VanWechel, a Minnesotan 9-year-old, was born eight weeks premature. His parents knew something was not quite right due to lack of motor development. Nic’s mom, Kathy, received a referral from their pediatrician to see a pediatric orthopaedic specialist at a local hospital. Nic was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and immediately started physical, occupational and speech therapy.

When Nic was 3 years old, a Shriner approached his grandmother and asked if their family was aware of Shriners Hospitals for Children. They were not and decided to check it out. After their first visit, they decided the Twin Cities Shriners Hospital was a great fit for their family.

Nic has had four surgeries at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. He has received adaptive equipment such as a walker, crutches, wheelchair (following surgeries) and various custom orthotics made at the hospital.

Patient programs have also been important to Nic’s care. Fun activities such as art projects, iPad games, movies and more help pass the time between therapy sessions. He’s also participated in Camp Bravo, a week-long acting camp for patients and Camp Splash, a swimming day camp held in the therapy pool.  Swimming is one of Nic’s favorite sports and in 2016, he was on the Farmington area Special Olympics swim team.

Nic’s mom appreciates the family-centered approach to care, “As a parent, it has been great to have a friendly and familiar face when you come for an appointment. Nic has loved his time with Kari L, Mary, Sarah in physical therapy, and Kae and Betsy in occupational therapy. They all have been great allowing him to use his creativity with therapy which helps him enjoy coming for therapy, making it much easier to come!”

Learn more about orthopaedic care at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities.

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