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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Brain injury survivor thrives back home and at school

January 08, 2019

"Dylan is very outgoing and has a bold personality most of the time.  He plays football and boxing," said Jeremy Kirkpatrick, Dylan's father. Athletic, Dylan Kirkpatrick also likes math, and this day is working on equations in Madonna’s therapeutic learning center after being involved in a rollover car crash in mid- July.  "What I remember from the accident is basically being in the car and then everything went black and then waking up in the hospital," said Dylan Kirkpatrick, brain injury survivor.  

“That was his first surgery,” said Melanie Kirkpatrck, Dylan's mom. She points to scars on Dylan's head resulting from several brain surgeries he underwent in the weeks after the accident to relieve swelling on his brain. He spent more than two months at Sanford’s Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, recovering before coming to Madonna’s Omaha Campus for rehabilitation. "It was easy to make the determination of where we wanted to take him for rehab because Madonna seems to blow the pants off of every other facility we looked at," said Jeremy. 

Dylan’s come a long way in a short amount of time. "when we first got here he could only take a few steps without getting really tired. Now we’re going on walks in the evening," said Melanie.  Dylan still suffers from memory issues. "I can remember the school fight song but I can’t remember the name of the nurse who just came in on," said Dylan. 

"The doctors were prepping us for a much worse situation than we have and he has just surprised the whole world with his outcome," said Jeremy. 

The Kirkpatrick's advice to parents? "Stay strong and keep fighting and push your kids. Because your faith and your encouragement is going to make them go further and succeed a lot more," said Melanie. “It’s really obvious that they know what’s going on with rehab around here," said Jeremy.

Learn more about Madonna's specialized children's rehabilitation unit and the therapeutic learning center